Police send warning after 2 sexual assaults

July 17, 2009 8:04:43 PM PDT
Berkeley Police are sending out a warning to residents to be on alert. There have been two separate cases of sexual assaults of women sleeping in their bedrooms. One took place on Cedar Street the other on Hillegass Avenue.

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Berkeley Police say it was after 2 a.m., when a man entered a home on the 2100 block of Cedar Street. A high school girl was asleep in her bed, when the man straddled her and lifted up her shirt.

"Her mother was asleep in the same bed. She woke up to find this guy on top of her daughter and she began to struggle with the suspect and the suspect fled," said Berkeley Police Officer Andrew Frankel.

Five hours later, on the 2600 block of Hillegass Avenue, it was a college student who woke up to find a man on top of her. She resisted and the attacker fled. The homes are two miles apart and in both cases, the intruder entered through an unlocked door or open window. Even so, neighbors are shocked.

"Especially Hillegass, it's very residential, it's sort of away from Telegraph and sort of the busyness of campus that you would think things like this wouldn't really happen as often," said Berkeley resident Sara Banilohi.

Berkeley Police say similar attacks happened last summer. In the three reported cases, the attacker entered through an unlocked door or open window.

"We understand as the temperatures rise people have a tendency to leave those doors and windows unlocked. Really that's the best thing people can do to protect themselves is to lock their doors and windows," said Officer Frankel.

Police don't know if they're dealing with one or two suspects. In the first case, he is described as 16 to 20 years old and 5'7" to 6'0" tall. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt.

In the second case, the suspect is described as a black male, 19 to 22 years old and 5'5" to 5"6" inches tall. He was wearing a gray non-hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans.

Women ABC7 spoke to say they will certainly heed the warnings from Berkeley Police.

"I will lock my windows, buy me a fan, or maybe an air conditioner or something to keep myself cool," said Berkeley resident Sonjay Eggleton.

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