TULSA, Okla. — He breaks into homes from the back, either through a window or door. He tends to be covered, and attacks when it’s dark.
Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, know that much about the man they say could be behind a string of recent sexual assaults, but little else. They have no name. No photograph.
Victims have provided diverse descriptions of the suspect, ranging from a light-skinned black or Hispanic man, to a tan white man.
“We’re looking for a needle in a haystack, and it’s a moving needle,” Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said.
According to police, there have been eight connected cases of sexual assault in Tulsa in the last month. They are being linked because of specific actions and statements the suspect made during the attacks.
The victims have been between 56-78 years old, except for one, who was 29.
“These home invasions and sexual assaults are obviously horrific,” Jordan said.
The police chief vowed to bring the perpetrator — whoever he is — to justice.
‘This guy needs to be caught’
Where facts are short, fear is long.
Residents are on edge and on the lookout for anything unusual in their neighborhoods.
“My best friend called me this morning when her husband was out of town and she said she slept with a shotgun,” Amy Tidwell, part of an Alert Neighbors program in her Midtown neighborhood, said.
The program is part of Tulsa’s Crime Prevention Network, which told reporters its phones have been busy with requests since the attacks.
“It’s made my family less lazy, my neighbors less lazy about securing your house, and sometimes we need a wake-up call like that,” said Tidwell.
Tulsa resident Jake Floyd said he is concerned for the safety of his wife and daughters.
“I am turning on the alarm system. We’ve put up some outdoor lights on the garage, motion sensors,” he said. “This guy needs to be caught or he needs to be taken out.”
‘Lock your doors’
Police are following up on tips and asking for the public to report anything strange.
Chief Jordan also recommended ways that residents could help protect themselves.
“Lock your doors and the chance of you being a victim becomes much, much less,” he said.
Resident John Bevens, a Tulsa resident, said he’s confident police will eventually find the suspect.
“If he’s getting bolder and bolder that means he’s going to get careless because he’s getting confident,” he said. “They’ll catch him.”