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A 22-year-old woman riding her bike along the MoPac Trail Tuesday morning near 56th and X streets saw what she believes is the same man she’s seen twice before standing in a wooded area on the north side of the trail with his pants down, masturbating.

It was the third time she’d ridden her bike along that stretch of the bike trail around 11 a.m. and saw what appears to be the same man standing in that area, said Officer Angela Sands.

The first time, the man was standing in the same wooded area and appeared to have his hands down his pants, fondling himself. The woman noticed the man but didn’t call police.

Then, on June 7, the man was standing in the wooded area wearing a T-shirt but no pants. She called police, who searched the areas but didn’t find him, Sands said.

After the woman saw him about 11:20 a.m. Tuesday, police searched the area and found fresh footprints and bicycle tracks, Sands said.

She encouraged people to use the buddy system on trails and make sure to be aware of their surroundings. It’s best not to wear earphones, but for walkers and riders who do, they should keep the volume low enough that they can hear what’s happening around them, she said.

She also encouraged residents in the area who have home surveillance systems to check to see if they captured anyone walking toward the bike path wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up — which would be unusual in such hot weather.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7226 or mreist@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSreist.

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Education reporter

Margaret Reist is a Lincoln native, the mom of three high school graduates now navigating college and an education junkie who covers students, teachers and policymakers inside and outside the K-12 classroom.

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