Police are still hunting for a man accused of performing a brazen indecent act near children swimming at the Geraldton foreshore, with concerns the culprit has fled town or is keeping cover at a derelict site.
Geraldton Police continue to search for the man who was reportedly observed with his pants down performing an obscene act while two adults and two young children were swimming nearby near the Horizon sculpture on the Beresford Foreshore on Thursday, January 5 about 3pm.
On Wednesday, police released CCTV images of a man who they want to speak to as part of their investigation.
Geraldton Police acting officer in charge Sen. Sgt Nathan Johansen said the adults witnessed the lewd act and captured a photo of the accused before he fled on a bike. He said the man in the photo was known to police.
Sen. Sgt Johansen said police believed there was a “strong chance” the suspect had left town, was “bouncing between” dwellings or hiding at the Batavia Motor Inne incognito to avoid police.
“We’ve hit every known address twice and he hasn’t been there,” he said. “We’re not sure if he has the resources to leave town.
“A number of family have been advised police are seeking his whereabouts. Some say they haven’t seen him for a period of time, some say he may be staying at the Batavia Motor Inne.”
Sen. Sgt Johansen said police had visited at least 10 addresses known to be frequented by the suspect to no avail and made hundreds of attempts to locate him in the last week.
“We just need to maintain that pressure and soon enough we will have some luck with it,” he said.
Sen. Sgt Johansen said criminals could “absolutely” use the abandoned building as a hideout, as it was a difficult location to search with multiple entry points and opportunities to lurk.
“It’s a very easy area to hide from police. When police enter, people are aware of our attendance,” he said.
“We won’t stop searching until he is located.”
The suspect is described as 20 years old, dark-skinned with dark hair, slim build and 170cm tall. He was wearing a dark blue shirt, khaki shorts and olive-coloured shoes. Police said he was riding a dark-coloured mountain bike with white front forks and red highlights on the handlebars.
Similar reports of shameless acts came to police in June and July last year, leaving Geraldton detectives searching for a man they believed was responsible for four separate indecent incidents against women walking along the foreshore.
Detectives alleged a man stared and groped a woman’s right buttock, attempted to grope her breast and kiss her before riding away on a bicycle near Dean Street on July 12.
On June 11, a similar incident was reported to police on Chapman Road near Kempton Street. The third and fourth incidents occurred on July 15 near Trigg Place and Adam Street and later near Mark Street.
Geraldton Detectives described the wanted man for the previous accusations as aged between 18 and 25 with a dark complexion riding a dark-coloured bicycle.
Police have previously indicated they are investigating any possible links between last year’s series of incidents and last week’s lewd act.
“People should be aware but not be alarmed of the goings on at the beach because usually it’s a safe area, but just be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious behaviours. If you can get a photo pass it on, but don’t put yourself in harm’s way,” Sen. St Johansen said.