OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Oakland police are seeking the public’s help in finding a middle-aged man who allegedly molested a 7-year-old girl at a residence near the Oakland Museum of California on Saturday afternoon.

Police said the man gained entry to an apartment complex in the 100 block of 10th Street, which is also in the vicinity of Lake Merritt, by contacting a woman who lived there and telling her that he wanted to check the pipes for water leaks.

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At one point after the man got inside the woman’s unit he was alone in a room with the 7-year-old girl and began to molest her, police said.

When the girl tried to get away, he grabbed her and prevented her from leaving the room, according to police.

But when the girl screamed, a family member came into the room and confronted the suspect and he fled the scene on foot in an unknown direction, police said.

Authorities describe the suspect as a white man in his early- to mid-50s, 6-feet tall and 160 pounds with a skinny build, light brown hair and a white beard.

They said he was wearing a gray hat, a blue, white and green horizontal striped shirt and blue jeans.

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The girl and the family member said the suspect had paint in his hair and multiple-colored paint splatters on his pants, police said.

The suspect also was seen around the building the morning of the incident, according to police.

They said investigators are working with the victim and the family members to create a sketch of the suspect and will provide it to the news media as soon as it becomes available.

Oakland police said anyone with information about the incident should call their youth and family service division at (510) 238-3641 or their tip line at (510) 637-0298.

Oakland police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in this case.

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