CPD conducting serial rape investigation on west side of Columbus

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Columbus Police said they are now conducting a serial rape investigation on the city’s west side.

The Sexual Assault Unit believes a series of three rapes since mid-April are related.

The first assault occurred April 18 in the area of 472 Brehl Avenue. The victim stated she was approached by three white males before being assaulted.

A second incident happened April 24 in the 2000 block of Sullivant Avenue. The female said she was approached by two men in a black or blue newer model vehicle.

That victim was sexually assaulted in the vehicle.

The latest incident occurred in the area of the 400 block of S. Burgess Ave. on May 19. In this case, the victim was approached by three males and forced into an alley where she was raped at gunpoint.

Police said the victim struggled with her assailants and was shot in the abdomen. The victim is currently recovering from surgery at Mount Carmel West Medical Center.

All three incidents happened around 4 a.m., were said to be violent in nature and the suspects either utilized or displayed a firearm.

Police believe there is a possibility the assaults are gang-related because of the guns and amount of suspects from each incident.

“There's no reason to believe they won't stop until they get caught,” Columbus Police Sgt. David Pelphrey said.

None of these attacks had any eyewitnesses.

With only vague descriptions of the suspects and their vehicles, police say the need the public’s help to solve these crimes.

“We would encourage anybody who was in this area who saw anything to come forward"," Sgt. Pelphrey said.

Police are warning women to not walking in any alleys and always walk in groups. They are also advising people to carry mace or a flashlight.

Officers will be increasing patrols in this area until the suspects are caught.

The Columbus Police encourages anyone with additional information to contact the sexual assault tip line at 614-645-4266 or Central Ohio CrimeStoppers at 614-645-4881.