Police launch hunt for serial flasher after teens targeted

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A SERIAL flasher has exposed himself to another pair of vulnerable teenagers – the third reported incident in a week.

The latest situation saw a hoodie-wearing man flash two terrified 13-year-old girls as they waited at a bus stop in Loanhead, at the gates to Memorial Park, on Wednesday.

It comes after two almost identical incidents last Friday when a man exposed himself to two pairs of teenagers in Mayfield and Gorebridge just half an hour apart.

Detective Constable Jamie Gilmore said there was a worry that the man could commit a more serious crime, although he said that the man had not tried to touch or grab his victims.

DC Gilmore said: “These girls were very shocked and they ran straight home.

“They are very shaken. It was all over very quickly but it has left a lasting impression on both of them.

“There are definite similarities in the description of his appearance and clothing, so we believe it may have been the same person.

“We are taking this very seriously. There is the worry that the culprit could commit a crime that is even more serious.”

Last Friday there were two flashing incidents. The first, at 5pm, saw the man approach two 15-year-olds. Just half an hour later he targeted two 16-year-old girls, in the Bonnybank area of Gorebridge, and exposed himself again. On Wednesday he pounced at 8.40pm, after he struck up a conversation with the pair.

The flasher is described as white, 25 to 30 years old, 5ft 8in tall with brown hair and stubble. He was wearing a black hooded top, black Adidas tracksuit bottoms, white trainers and spoke with a local accent.

DC Gilmore said: “We have increased patrols in the area and we would like anybody with information to immediately contact us.

“At this stage we are asking people to be vigilant. We would certainly advise caution to any young females. However, there has been no attempt to grab anybody or assault them. He does not appear to pursue the victims as they run away.”

A police spokesman added: “This was a terrifying experience for the young girls, who were left badly shaken by the ordeal and we are keen to hear from anyone who can assist with our enquiries.

“Anyone who was in or around The Loan area on Wednesday night and saw anything suspicious is asked to contact police immediately.”

Anyone with any information can contact police on 0131-311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111.

vraimes@edinburghnews.com