PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER Maine) — Police in Portland are asking for the public’s help in finding a man who forced his way into a woman's home and then assaulted her and tried to force his way into another home in the same neighborhood.
Police believe the man is the same person even though the break ins happened weeks apart.
On November 15, around 6 p.m., police say a woman was walking from the Deering Center neighborhood to her home on Woodford Street when she was attacked by a man she had talked to briefly on her walk. After their conversation, she headed home and as she was entering her apartment police say the man came up behind her, pushed her into her apartment and assaulted her. The woman recognized her attacker as a man she had encountered earlier.
Lt. Robert Martin says "that's a significant distance, so if he followed her. he followed her for quite some distance."
Police say the man is white, in his 30s with a pasty complexion and patchy, brown beard. He is 5' 10" with a slim build. Police say the man was wearing a New England Patriots blue knit cap, a puffy jacket (gray or blue) and blue jeans.
On December 4, around 5:30 p.m., Police say a man was in his house on Highland Street when someone tried to force their way into his home through a window. After confronting the man the two got into a brief fight and the man, who tried to break in, took off and ran down the road to Brighton Avenue.
Police say the suspect in this case was described as a white man, 6’ in his 30s with a pale complexion and dark facial hair. He was wearing glasses and dressed in dark clothing including a hoodie, and believed to be on drugs.
Because of the proximity of the two crimes and the similarities of the suspect descriptions, police are asking residents in the Deering Center and Deering Highlands neighborhoods to be extra cautious. The department has also increased patrols in the area.
Police are reminding Portland residents that even though "Portland remains a safe city" they should be aware of surroundings, keep exterior and an interior lights on, scan the area before leaving your car, keep an eye out for your neighbors' homes, be alert while walking, if possible don’t walk alone, and always report suspicious behavior to the police.
Lt. Martin says "if you're walking, walk with a partner or at least pay attention to what is occurring around you. In this day and age with cell phones and other distractions it's very easy to miss those clues that might be important to save your life."
If anyone has any information that would help solve these crimes they are being asked to contact the Portland Police Department at (207) 874-8575.