CMPD Searching For Serial Break-In Suspect

CHARLOTTE, NC – Charlotte Mecklenburg police are searching for a serial break in suspect. Police say the crime spree is getting more dangerous and now includes an attempted sexual assault.

“I was still like half asleep. I was like, oh my god, what’s going on,” said Stephanie Cruz. She lives on Briarhill Drive in East Charlotte and woke up to police around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday.

“It’s scary because, you know, it could have been any of us,” continued Cruz.

CMPD says a man broke into Cruz’s neighbor’s home through the back door while people were sleeping inside. The suspect tried to sexually assault the woman and hit her with something. Another person in the home helped fight off the suspect before he ran off.

“This is a very serious offense and were taking it that way and the community out there should take it that way too,” said Capt. Rob Dance with CMPD.

He says the break-in on Briarhill Drive may be related to a string of break-ins that happened only two miles away on May 13th.

Last month someone matching the same description broke into two homes on Finchley Drive, two more on Terrybrook Lance, and attempted to get into a home on Purser Drive. All in a span of a few hours.

The suspect got inside the homes through unlocked windows. People were inside four of the houses. No one was hurt and nothing was taken.

“Because of the similar factors in this case, we can’t help but to think that it very well may be the same suspect,” said Dance.

Dance says stranger attacks are rare, but on the rise recently. There have been 14 stranger attacks so far this year, compared to 9 at this time last year.

“We know there is some concerns in the community. There should be,” cautioned Dance.

Crime Stoppers is now offering a $5,000 reward for the suspect’s arrest.