Police are looking into the possibility that two home invasions in Carmel Valley are connected to a third case near UCSD.
Right now investigators say there are several similarities between the Carmel Valley home invasions and a case near UCSD.
In all three cases, the suspect was armed with a knife, took his victims by surprise and then tied them up. Two of the women were sexually assaulted, police said.
In the first attack, a man sexually assaulted a woman inside her apartment at a UCSD graduate student- housing complex on Regents Road on November 7, 2008, UCSD police said.
In this attack the victim came home around 3:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon and didn’t realize a man had followed her when she entered her front door. The man had a knife, quickly tied her up and tried to rape her but she resisted, police said, and the man left.
She described her attacker as a light-skinned man with facial hair, 20-30 years old, 5’6” to 5’9”, about 160 lbs, wearing a baseball cap and a white Chargers T-shirt with jeans, according to police.
UCSD Police released a sketch of a possible suspect based on her description.
On February 10, a man approached a Carmel Valley woman walking from her car into her home on Whispering Hills Lane just before noon. He slipped under the garage door before it closed, holding a knife, tied up the woman and robbed her, San Diego police said. She described her attacker to police as a man wearing jeans and a gray, zipped sweatshirt and ball cap.
On Wednesday March 4, around noon another Carmel Valley woman was attacked in her home, this time in the 3700 block of Carmel View Road. The man entered through an open garage door, armed with a knife, tied up the victim and sexually assaulted her, San Diego police said. The suspect then took the victim's wallet and left, according to investigators.
Last week investigators thought they had a break in the two Carmel Valley home invasions when they arrested a 45-year old man who seemed to match the description of the suspect. He lived on Carmel View Road, near the most recent assault victim.
Investigators now say he had nothing to do with the assaults.
The attacks have been unnerving for residents. "I feel that if your husband goes away on business now, you're really on standby. Like, 'Is somebody going to threaten my family?' And I think we, as a community, feel our children are at risk, too,” said Trisha Cirone. “It's nerve-wracking."
Another woman talked about taking preventative action since news of the attacks. "The past two weeks since I've been hearing about this happening, right when I get into my garage, before my car is even turned off, my garage door is closed. It doesn't matter who he's targeting, it's just a scary thought knowing that someone's out there doing this," she said.
"At this point, there is no concrete evidence linking these cases, however, there are several similarities in the behavior of the suspect," said SDPD spokesperson Mónica Muñoz. "We will continue to investigate these cases and will not rule out the possibility that they are linked."