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Recent string of break-ins could be related

Columbia Police believe a recent string of break-ins at student apartments are related.

The most recent break-ins have all happened in the 3000 block of Stadium Boulevard and 2200 block of Grindstone Parkway.

In all of the instances, the suspect entered apartments occupied by college-age women.

Columbia Police believe the same suspect is connected to fifteen burglaries and sexual assaults dating back to June 2013. Four recent incidents happened at The Domain apartment complex on Stadium Boulevard.

On May 1, the suspect tried to get into the apartment, but the victim noticed the front doorknob turning slowly and reported the attempt to police.

On the same morning, minutes later, the suspect walked into an unlocked apartment where the victim woke up to him in her bedroom. He left that apartment without hurting the woman or taking anything.

45 minutes later, the suspect broke into another apartment in the same vicinity. The victim woke up to the suspect holding a knife in her bedroom, where he told her to take off all of her clothes. The suspect then proceeded to masturbate in her bedroom, then left without attempting to touch the victim or steal anything.

Three days later, on May 4th, a victim was walking along the 4100 block of Lenoir Drive when the suspect came up behind her and held a knife to her throat, attempting to to sexually assault her. The victim fought back and the suspect fled on foot.

On May 8th, a victim in the 2200 block of Grindstone Parkway woke up after midnight after someone tried to get into her locked bedroom. She eventually left her bedroom and found the downstairs window open. Nothing was found missing from her apartment.

On Friday, the suspect entered an apartment in the 3100 block of Stadium through an unlocked door, and went into the victim’s room wielding a knife. The suspect sexually assaulted her and then fled the apartment.

Ten of the fifteen incidents police say one suspect may have committed ended when the victim saw, spoke to or screamed at him. The suspect ran out of the residence each time.

ABC 17 News tried to talk to The Domain and Domain residents. Management there said it needed to go through Campus Advantage in order to talk to anyone. Todd Engstrom at Campus Advantage did not immediately return ABC 17 News’ phone calls.

These crimes are similar in nature to crimes in East Campus and downtown Columbia in 2013. A suspect, believed to be the same person, entered unlocked residences with college-aged females.

The suspect is described as a white or possibly Middle Eastern man in his 30s.

He is said to be about 6 feet to 6 feet, two inches tall with an athletic build.

The suspect has been seen at times wearing glasses.

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