High Surf Advisory issued January 26 at 3:34AM EST expiring January 27 at 7:00AM EST in effect for: Pinellas
Lake Wales police are looking for a burglar preying on older women.
The suspect has broken into two houses in the past week, raising concerns he could strike again.
Early Friday morning, police say a 73-year-old woman was asleep in a chair inside her home. When she woke up, she found a stranger next to her chair.
Her daughter, who did not want to be identified, said she is still struggling with the encounter nearly a week later
"She said her mind just goes back. The minute she closes her eyes, she just thinks about that moment," her daughter said.
That incident happened at a house on South Fourth Street. The woman screamed, and the man ran without hurting her.
Police believe the same man targeted another woman Monday night. That time he entered the home of a 68-year-old who lives along the 200 block of Emerald Avenue, not far from the first incident.
The suspect entered the home armed with a knife, exposed himself and tried to sexually assault her.
She screamed and, again, he ran.
In both cases, the man came in through unlocked doors.
Neighbors are now taking extra precautions.
"It makes me feel unsafe, and I have grandkids here, so my doors will be locked at all times," neighbor Cynthia Robinson said.
Other residents said the fact he hasn't been caught makes them reinforce security measures they already have in place.
Police described the suspect as a black male in his 20s. He stands between 5 feet, 7 inches and 5 feet, 9 inches.
He was last seen wearing jeans and a red hooded sweatshirt.