Police are investigating two separate attacks on women in Ferring on Thursday afternoon which may have been carried out by the same youth (19 March).
In the first incident, a 19-year-old woman was accosted as she emerged from ladies’ toilets at Ferring Village Hall at around 3pm.
A hand was placed over her mouth and she was told not to scream but she managed to break free and run to a nearby shop to raise the alarm.
Less than 10 minutes later in nearby Meadow Way, a 36-year-old woman was approached by a teenage boy who asked for help to fetch his injured dog.
They drove in her van a short distance to Onslow Drive but there was no dog.
The youth then made two attempts to grab the woman, who locked herself in her van. The youth fled down a nearby footpath.
Both victims described their assailant as white, around 5’ 7” tall and in his teens. He was said to have headphones slung around his neck.
Detective Sergeant Debbie Birch, of West Sussex CID, said: “These were serious but unusual incidents which may be linked. We are actively investigating what happened and would appeal for any witnesses or anyone with other relevant information to come forward.
“They can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 101, quoting serial 911 of 13/3 concerning the first incident or 927 of 19/3 for the second.
“Alternatively they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers without having to leave their name on 0800 555 111.”