*Detectives are searching for a man who they believe sexually assaulted seven women since New Year’s Day and tried to attack another, Detroit’s police chief said Monday.

The first attack happened before dawn on Jan. 1, and the most recent attack happened at 2:40 a.m. Thursday, hours before volunteers hit the streets to warn women and to circulate a sketch of the suspect, Chief Ralph Godbee said at a news conference.

“We don’t want people to be gripped by fear. … We’re not going to let this monster cripple us,” Godbee said.

The suspect is described as black, in his 30s and about 5 feet 9 inches tall. All of the victims are black, and they range in age from 17 to 33 years old, the chief said.

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This updated sketch provided Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 by the Detroit Police Department shows an artist’s rendering of a man suspected in a series of rapes and robberies in Detroit’s east side since Jan. 1, 2011. Police describe the suspect as an African American male older than 24 years old, 5-foot-9, weighs 165 lbs., dark brown eyes, possible mustache and facial hair in the chin area, dark complexion, wearing a black jacket and black pants. Seven women have been raped and another woman was a victim of an attempted rape on the east and northeast sides, beginning on New Year’s Day. The last sexual assault was on Jan. 13. (AP Photo/Detroit Police Department)