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NYPD Puts Women On Notice As Search For ‘Well-Dressed Groper’ Continues

Kelly Explains Rationale For Release Of New, Clearer Images Of Suspect
New surveillance photos of the so-called "Well-Dressed Groper" were released on May 10, 2012. (credit: NYPD)

New surveillance photos of the so-called “Well-Dressed Groper” were released on May 10, 2012. (credit: NYPD)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – He’s still out there!

Police have released a new picture of the so-called “well-dressed groper,” a man who has been targeting women in Manhattan.

The NYPD is out in force looking for the guy. The new image is the clearest picture we’ve seen of the man who has attacked at least four women since February.

The most recent incident happened at the Chambers Street subway station in Lower Manhattan. It’s become a needle-in-a-haystack search, considering his appearance: an everyday man, nicely dressed and clean-shaven, reported CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

Many women told Smith on Friday that this is not your stereotypical sexual predator.

“Absolutely not, but nowadays you can’t generalize,” commuter Jeanette Brown said.

“I’m always aware of my surroundings to make sure … you never know what could happen,” Diane Calderon added.

Police thought they had their suspect back in April based on a tip call, a less descriptive photo and a lineup identification, but Karl Vanderwoude had an airtight alibi, prompting all charges to be dropped.

“It’s affected every part of my life, even from walking to the corner store. My neighbors recognize me, but I’m gonna grow from this and I’m just ready to get back to normal,” Vanderwoude said.

So why didn’t police release the better photo until now? NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly wouldn’t give details, but said cops secured the better picture one day after the mistaken identity arrest in April, and released it now in hopes of nabbing the right perpetrator.

Women are being asked to report any information about the well-dressed groper’s whereabouts to help put an end to his intrusive grope-and-run pattern.

Besides being impeccably dressed, the suspect is described as in his 30s, 180 pounds, clean-shaven and with brown hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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