CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Coral Gables Police is asking for the public's help, looking for a man between the ages of 20 to early 30s who is believed to be behind several burglaries where women are awakened after being touched by a man.
On Tuesday, at approximately 5:30 AM, police say a man entered an apartment at the 200 block of Mendoza Avenue. A female victim was confronted by the man but, after a brief struggle, he fled in an unknown direction.
Over the last year, the Coral Gables Police Department has been investigating a series of overnight apartment burglaries where women have been awakened and touched by a man.
"What we have noticed is that this subject is targeting women who are living by themselves," Coral Gables Police Officer Lauren Poole told CBS4's Lauren Pastrana.
All of the women, at the time of the occupied burglaries, were home alone, according to the Coral Gables Police Department.
"There's like a predator in our midst and I didn't know it until saw the police across the street," said neighbor Daisy Vazquez.
Police believe the same man has committed similar burglaries in other jurisdictions and Coral Gables police is working with the City of Miami Police Department and other agencies.
The man is described as a white male, between the ages of 20 and 30, possible wearing a hoodie sweatshirt or other material to conceal his identity.
Officers went door to door Wednesday in the affected north end of our city to notify residents and ask for their help in identifying anyone that they think is acting suspicious in their neighborhoods.
People who usually walk or bike along the tree-lined streets in the neighborhood were surprised to get the warning from police.
"Really out of character. It's a safe area. You don't expect this to happen," said one Coral Gables resident.
Between Coral Gables and neighboring Miami, the man is believed to have struck at least 20 times.
"We believe this individual is not only committing the crimes in our city, but also in nearby cities as well," Officer Poole said.
"It's very scary. I mean you just don't feel safe anymore," said Coral Gables resident Lily Sanchez.
Police are advising that residents be aware of their surroundings and immediately report any suspicious persons or vehicles to police.
"We gotta really look out for what they're talking and help them with their search so it's safer for us and everybody involved," Vazquez said.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Coral Gables Police Department or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).
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