Police searching for suspect seen following two Encinitas students

Sheriff’s deputies are on the lookout for a man who was seen inappropriately touching himself as he followed two girls walking home from an Encinitas middle school.

The suspect made a U-turn on Via Cantebria and drove up alongside the Oak Crest Middle School girls around 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, according to a San Diego Sheriff’s Department statement. The teens noticed what he was doing while following them for about five minutes.

Sheriff’s officials said the suspect’s car window was rolled down, but he did not expose himself or speak to the girls.

The suspect sped off as the girls pulled out their cellphones to call their parents, according to the statement.

The girls described the suspect as a white man of between 20 and 30, between 6 feet and 6 feet 4, with brown hair. He was wearing dark sunglasses, a dark brown or black T-shirt and blue jeans. He was driving a dark station wagon with roof rails.

Authorities said anyone who spots the suspect should not approach him.

Instead, call 911 or the sheriff’s non-emergency line at (858) 565-5200. Anonymous tips can be made by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

Sheriff’s officials did not immediately say whether the incident in Encinitas was related to two similar reports of a man in a pickup truck following Santana High School along Mast Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue in Santee on Sept. 21 and also around 3 p.m. Thursday.

However, the suspect in both Santee incidents was described as a Hispanic or Indian man with a dark complexion wearing a dark T-shirt and a flat- brimmed baseball cap. He was behind the wheel of a white 2000 Chevrolet pickup truck with a toolbox in the bed.