As San Luis Obispo police investigate two very similar home invasion-style sexual assault cases, they’re stepping up patrols and urging residents to take extra precautions.
The two crimes took place within days of each other — both occurred during the early-morning hours and were carried out by knife-wielding suspects who entered women’s homes through unlocked doors and windows
Early Friday morning, two women fought off a man who attempted to sexually assault them in a home on the 1500 block of Osos Street. On Sunday, a suspect sexually assaulted a woman in her 20s in a home on the 1-100 block of Los Palos Drive.
Although the two cases share many similarities — and suspects whose descriptions resemble each other — police can’t yet say with certainty that one suspect is responsible for both crimes.
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The suspect in the first case was described as a Hispanic man in his 30s, about 5 feet 5 inches tall, with short dark hair.
In the second case, the suspect was described as a Hispanic man in his 40s, muscular and about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, wearing black boxer shorts and a nylon over his head.
“We’re hesitant to say this is the same guy,” said Lt. Brian Amoroso of the San Luis Obispo Police Department. “We just don’t know.”
But police are stepping up patrols early in the morning — especially around 5:30 to 6 a.m., when the assault and attempted assault took place.
“Our nighttime officers are going to be extra vigilant in the early-morning hours, looking for suspicious behavior,” Amoroso said.
The two crime scenes weren’t in the same neighborhood, and police also aren’t sure whether a suspect is targeting women of a certain age, he said.
“There’s a likelihood the cases could be related,” Amoroso said. “But we’re cautious to jump to such conclusions.”
Extra safety measures
In light of the two assault cases, Amoroso urged San Luis Obispo residents to be extra cautious and report anyone exhibiting suspicious behavior.
In spite of the recent warm weather, Amoroso also said residents should make sure to close and lock their windows before they go to bed. Doors and vehicles should also be secured.
In both assault cases, suspects entered victims’ homes through side doors and windows, which are usually darker and less visible to neighbors from the street, Amoroso said.
Residents concerned about their safety might consider installing motion-detection lights that could scare off potential assailants, he said. Doorbell cameras that can be linked to residents’ smartphones are also an option.