Suspect in string of Philadelphia sex assaults, robberies surrenders to police

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police say a tip led to the arrest of the suspect wanted for the sexual assault of three women in two separate incidents.

Exclusive video taken by Action News shows 51-year-old Robert Johnson being taken away in handcuffs Thursday morning as he was being transported to the Special Victims Unit to be questioned.

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Exclusive Video: Suspect surrenders to police on July 26, 2018.

Just minutes before, police say his brother joined him as he walked into Southwest Detectives to surrender.

They described him as calm and subdued.

The surrender took place hours after detectives identified him and released his picture to the media.

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Suspect identified in Philadelphia sex assaults. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News Mornings on July 26, 2018.

Johnson, a registered sex offender, was wanted in connection to three armed rapes and robberies in West Philadelphia. One took place on Belmont and Parkside avenues, the second at a gas station on 48th Street and West Girard Avenue.

The two incidents took place less than three blocks from his home on the 4100 block of Leidy Avenue where police executed a search warrant Wednesday night. They then turned to the public for help.

"We have three sexual assaults that we know of. So yes, there's always that fear that someone is going to strike again. And honestly, I did believe he was going to strike again," Philadelphia Police Captain Mark Burgmann said.

Police grew even more concerned once they learned of the suspect's criminal history. Johnson was in prison for 12 years on a sexual assault conviction. He was released just over a year ago.

"Absolutely brazen, absolute stranger jobs. I can't stress that enough. Didn't know them at all. And very bold. Very bold. And I would say very brazen. It was scary when we saw that," Burgmann said.

Police say he may also be behind a June 30th assault and a string of other robberies. They believe there may be even more assaults.

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Video shows suspect in multiple West Philadelphia sex assaults. Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 5pm on July 23, 2018.

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