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POLICE SEEK ROBBER OF 2 WIDOWS

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Police are looking for a man who assaulted and robbed two elderly widows in their homes during the past two weeks.

The incidents occurred at homes within a block of each other near 2400 South and Redwood Road. Police believe the man - who posed as a telephone repairman in at least one of the cases - is familiar with his victims, and they are asking for the public's help in identifying him."He apparently does figure out what kind of victims he's looking for," said West Valley Police Lt. Jim Stroud, who said the man may try to spend rare Susan B. Anthony silver dollars that he stole from one woman's home.

The first assault occurred July 12. Early in the day, the man knocked on the 63-year-old woman's door and claimed he was from the phone company and there to check her phone. She refused to let him in and he left.

The same man returned about 11:30 p.m., and when she opened the door he sprayed her face with Mace. Stroud said the man tied up the woman, ransacked her home and made several threats. He took 100 Susan B. Anthony dollars the woman was collecting and also took other cash the woman had.

Neighbors who later assisted the woman told the Deseret News the robber had asked her to give him the name and phone number of a relative. After she gave him her daughter's name, he left. Later the daughter was called and told that her mother needed her and she should go to the house.

The second incident occurred about 5 a.m. Tuesday. Police believe the man entered through the front door and found the woman in bed. "She woke up and he was tying her up," Stroud said.

The assailant fondled the 72-year-old woman and threatened her into giving him money. The woman told him she had no money, but gave him a small amount she had in her purse. After he left, the woman was able to free herself and she contacted police.

The suspect is described as Caucasian, 5 feet 10 inches, in his late 20s or early 30s. He is described as thin with long legs and is clean-shaven. Anyone who may have information should contact West Valley police.

When someone claims to be from a utility company and asks to enter the home, Stroud said, it is always a good idea to either ask for identification or to phone the company to ask if they have sent a representative.