Police: Serial rapist targeting women in Raleigh

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Police say a serial rapist is on the loose in Memphis, targeting women in Raleigh and raping them at gunpoint.

Investigators believe he's responsible for several sexual assaults in the northeast Raleigh area, but right now, they only have a vague description to go on.

"There’s a natural fear I think that all people have, but women, we have it because we know that we can be overpowered by any man," said Rachel Alexander.

According to police, the suspect meets his victims either in person or on social media, then lures them somewhere else where he rapes them.

"It could be anybody, you know? And they’re lying, have a good story like they’re working, job. Just trying to meet you," said Sharon Cody.

Police say the suspect is in his early to mid-20s, often wearing sweatpants or jogging pants and armed with a black handgun.

We asked when the assaults happened, how many women he’s raped and which social media platforms he’s using, but police couldn’t give us those answers.

Louis Brownlee, public information officer for MPD, told WREG in an email, "all available info" has been posted.

"You just have to protect yourself, because nobody’s going to do it for you," Alexander said.

She exercises outside every day and says she refuses to let one creep ruin her routine.

"He’ll get caught," she said. "You will get caught, and he’ll answer for what he has to do. And then the next one will get caught and the next one will get caught if you say something when you see something."

And Cody tells WREG she’s always watching her back.

"Try not to be on my phone. I used to have a habit of being on my phone, so I don’t even do that no more," she said. "I get in and out. Make sure when I get in, I lock my door."

In the meantime, police say you should:

  • Always meet in a public well-lit place.
  • Never meet anyone alone or in an area that you are not familiar with.
  • Do not get in a vehicle with someone you do not know. Drive yourself or have a friend ride with you.
  • Make sure you have your cell phone with you for emergency calls.
  • After meeting with someone, and you start feeling uneasy or concerned in any way, trust your feelings. Walk away, leave the area.

Police are asking for help catching the suspect.

If you know anything, you can call in an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.