BARSTOW The City Council will be offering a $5,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of two men suspected of raping a woman in Barstow Heights last month.

A woman was jogging on the 27000 block of Brucite Street on March 15 when two men drove up to her in a gray car, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department. They got out of the car, grabbed the victim and forced her to the ground where they raped her at knifepoint. The woman suffered minor injuries in the attack.

The City Council approved the reward 4-0, with Councilman Willie Hailey absent. The reward offer will expire in 60 days and will come from the city's general fund. Councilmembers said they hoped someone would come forward without the promise of a reward, but agreed that it could help.

City staff suggested the City Council reward between $5,000 to $10,000 for the conviction of the suspected rapists.

"I struggle with this," said Councilman Tim Saenz. "How do you put a dollar amount on this? It's a life. It's a person."

The city does not have a precedent of offering rewards for information about crimes, but offering a $5,000 reward for the conviction of the rapists means there might be a potential for more of the rewards in the future. Councilmembers asked staff to bring more information about constructing a policy or ordinance about rewards to a future meeting so the amounts and number of rewards each year can be determined.

Deputies are still searching for the suspects and the investigation is ongoing, said Jodi Miller, spokesperson for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday. Rewards can help with investigations, although Miller said the sheriff's department doesn't typically deal with cases where rewards are offered.

"Any and all information is investigated and appreciated," said Miller.

The two men are both described as Hispanic in their late 20s to early 30s. One suspect was described as being between 5'7" to 5'9" tall, weighing approximately 220 pounds with brown eyes and a beard. The suspect was wearing a black sweatshirt and baggy jeans at the time of the rape.

The other suspect was described as weighing about 200 pounds and has short brown hair, dark brown eyes and a beard and mustache. He was wearing a gray sweatshirt with red emblems and long black shorts at the time of the rape.

The car is described as being a medium-sized gray car with tinted windows and possibly has a yellow or white sticker on the back window.

Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of these two suspects is asked to contact the Barstow Sheriff's Station at (760) 256-4838. Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact the We-Tip Hotline at 1 (800) 782-7463 or online at www.wetip.com.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or kjonas@desertdispatch.com