Fairfax County police have created an internal task force to track down the man they say slashed at least nine young women in shopping malls across the county since February, police said Friday.
Police also met with officers from neighboring counties Friday to expand the reach of the investigation, said Fairfax police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.
"This was an opportunity for outside agencies to learn what was going on and hopefully be ready in case they see a similar situation," Caldwell said.
There have been no reports of similar attacks outside Fairfax.
Caldwell said the task force was modeled after collaborative efforts to apprehend Brad K. Edmonds, 35, of Oxon Hill, who police said committed more than 100 burglaries or attempted break-ins around the Washington area.
"We're going to ensure streamlining and information sharing," Caldwell said.
The most recent attack occurred July 25, police said.
Three women came forward this week and told police that they were also victims of slashings in February and March at Fair Oaks Mall and Tysons Corner, bringing the total count of seemingly random attacks to nine, police said.
In most of the assaults, the attacker distracted the victim before slashing her with a box cutter or razor, police said.
The attacks began in February at Fair Oaks Mall, where five victims were slashed.
Two other incidents occurred at Tysons Corner, one was reported at Marshalls at the Greenbriar Shopping Center and another at the T.J. Maxx at Fairfax Towne Center.
None of the injuries was serious.
The suspect, whose image has been caught on surveillance tapes, is described as a heavyset 5-foot-6 Latino in his late 20s, police said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Fairfax County police at 703-691-2131 or text “TIP187” and a message to CRIMES (274637).
The surveillance tape video: