Public masturbator targeting minors

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a man suspected of performing lewd acts in the presence of teenage girls in San Mateo on two separate occasions in recent weeks.

According to police, the suspect was seen engaged in acts of apparent masturbation on two instances.

The first instance occurred on Sept. 11, at about 8 a.m., when a 15-year-old girl walking on Delaware Street, just north of San Mateo High School, reported being followed by a Hispanic man driving a white 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer.

The driver apparently made eye contact with the girl and appeared to be masturbating, police said.

Officers were notified of the incident and conducted an extensive search of the area, but were unable to locate the suspect and the suspect vehicle.

Just after 7:30 a.m. on Friday a man matching the same description was reported masturbating in a vehicle that also matched the same description, while parked in the Woodlake Shopping Center, about a block north of San Mateo High School, police said.

Officers said his lewd activity appeared to be directed towards a nearby group of teenage girls.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man between 35 and 45 years old with a medium build, medium complexion, dark hair and an unshaven face, police said.

The San Mateo Police Department is working closely with San Mateo High School to alert students and faculty to the situation.

Anyone with information about these incidents or this suspect and vehicle is urged to contact San Mateo police at (650) 522-7700.

For non-urgent information about this case call (650) 522-7650 or the San Mateo Police Department’s Secret Witness Line at (650) 522-7676.