Man impersonating cop linked to two sexual assaults [UPDATE]

Police say a suspect lured a student into an SUV at this intersection. 
Police say a suspect lured a student into an SUV at this intersection. 

-- Update at bottom --

Authorities are looking for a man who allegedly lured a female University of Minnesota student into a black SUV early Sunday morning by posing as a police officer, then drove away and sexually assaulted her.

SEE ALSO: U of M released wrong photo of alleged West Bank gunman

According to a crime alert sent out by U of M police, the student was walking by herself near the intersection of 15th Avenue Southeast and 8th Street Southeast about 2:15 a.m. yesterday when the man pulled up next to her, warned her about the dangers of walking alone, and offered her a ride.

WCCO details what happened from there:

When the victim agreed and entered the vehicle, the suspect locked the doors of the SUV, drove to a remote location and sexually assaulted her, according to police.

The suspect is described as a black man between 23 and 27 years old with a medium build. He had short hair, or a shaved head, and a neatly trimmed chin-strap style beard. He was wearing a dark-colored jacket with a badge on it, dark pants and a security or police-style belt, police said.

The vehicle is described as a dark SUV with a dark interior and a computer screen in the center console.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Minneapolis Police Department's tip line at 612-692-8477.

:::: UPDATE ::::

It appears the same suspect who assaulted the U of M student may also be responsible for a sexual assault that took place Saturday afternoon in Fridley.

From Fox 9:

According to Fridley police, a woman from Minneapolis was walking to her vehicle at about 1 p.m. on Saturday when a man who identified himself as a police officer kidnapped her and then sexually assaulted her before releasing her...

Police said case is strikingly similar to the report a University of Minnesota student filed on Sunday , and said the two are "most likely" related...

The suspect description in both cases are remarkably similar, describing a black man with a thin beard driving a smaller, dark SUV wearing a dark cap, standing about 6 feet tall with a medium build, with weight estimated by the Fridley victim at 190 pounds.

Anyone with information about the Fridley assault is asked to call the Anoka County Sheriff's Office at 763-427-1212.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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