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L.I. Home Invasions: Cops Searching For 'Thrill-Seeker'

KINGS POINT, N.Y. (CBS 2/1010 WINS) -- Disturbing new details about a string of home invasions in Nassau County surfaced on Thursday.

Police said the suspect held his hand over the mouth of a 5-year-old, trying to keep her from screaming, CBS 2's Tony Aiello reports.

It's happening in Great Neck, where police have stepped up patrols, and in the neighboring village of Kings Point. A man has been breaking into occupied homes. He's not stolen anything so far -- except residents' sense of security.

"I'm petrified, terrified. I had both my kids in the room with my husband last night, chair against the door. I know it sounds a little neurotic, but I mean what can you do?" Great Neck resident Ruth Goldstein told Aiello.

Police said they understand the fear -- with a strange man breaking into homes in the dead of night.

"He appears to be some kind of a thrill-seeker. He makes his way into the house, he stands, he looms over people," Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Kevin Smith said.


1010 WINS Reporter Carol D'Auria says extra patrols are set up for town struck by home invader

That's what happened early Wednesday at one home, where a 5-year-old girl woke up to find the man standing over her bed. Her mom spoke to CBS 2's Jay Dow.

"We're doing okay, still getting over it. I wasn't able to sleep well last night. Obviously, still scared," the mother said.

The suspect ran when the child screamed, but not before touching her.

"He actually placed his hand on her face and began to pinch her lips shut so she wouldn't scream," Detective Lt. Smith said.

Police said he struck twice more that night, trying to enter the home of one older woman, and brandishing a knife at another woman after climbing through a window. She bravely grabbed it and chased him away.

"She's been here herself a long time. She handles everything on her own. She's a strong woman," neighbor David Makhani said.

Cops want to know if it's the same guy who ran from another house Sunday night after entering the bedroom of a teenage girl.

He left a clue behind -- a distinctive baseball cap with the great seal of the United States on it.

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, 25 to 30, 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, with black hair, dark complexion and some facial hair, wearing a wool cap, black jacket, blue jeans and black shoes with silver buckles.

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