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3 sexual assault incidents reported at same Georgia Target store: police

Police are understood to have increased security around an Atlanta Target store after three separate incidents of sexual assault were reported there in recent weeks.

Police are understood to have ramped up security at a Target store in Georgia after three separate incidents of sexual assault were reported there in recent weeks.

The cases involve accusations of groping and women being secretly recorded inside a Target store located on the 1900 block of Scenic Highway in Snellville, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. Snellville is a city about 30 miles from Atlanta. 

Snellville Police says it has "increased patrols" and "officer presence" to respond promptly to the location, USA Today reports.

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The first incident took place on March 30 when a woman reported a man approaching her near the grocery section of the store and "touched her genitals" before running away, Fox 5 reports, citing a Snellville Police Department report.

She said the man − described as wearing a camo hat, blue shirt, and khaki shorts − told her she had something on her skirt before carrying out the alleged assault, USA Today reports. After she screamed, the man fled the area.

An officer in the case reports that he confronted the suspect, Devon Breandre Thomas, near the store's parking lot before the perpetrator told him he "was not bound by our laws" and ran, forcing the officer and another who had just arrived on the scene to discharge their tasers to stop him, Fox 5 reports. 

Thomas now faces a charge of sexual battery.

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The other two police reports both involve cases of women allegedly being secretly recorded while using the store’s facilities. 

On May 1, a woman said she was trying on a top in the fitting room and when she looked down she saw a cell phone pointed at her from under the door.

Police were able to track down the alleged pervert by using facial recognition software. They analyzed Target's security footage that matched a Facebook photo of Josue Antonio Gomez. They later found a previous booking photo of Gomez and cameras also captured Gomez's father's truck near the Target before the incident, officials said.    

Police also reviewed security footage that allegedly captured Gomez following women around the store and pointing his phone towards them without their knowledge or consent, USA Today reports. He was taken into custody and charged with a Peeping Tom and knowingly using and installing a device to observe and record a person under their clothing.

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Days later, a victim reported seeing a man record her while she was in a restroom stall, according to FOX 5. She said he fled the scene when she confronted him. Police say the suspect is still at large and was last seen wearing blue and yellow Crocs with black or blue sweatpants.

A Target spokesperson tells Fox Business said the company is aware of the reports and is committed to keeping visitors safe.  

"The safety of our guests and team members is Target's top priority and we have robust procedures, policies and training in place to ensure that our stores are safe places to shop and work," the spokesperson said in a statement. 

"We have no tolerance for this kind of behavior and are assisting the Snellville Police Department with their investigation."

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