An unidentified man broke into a group of female Cal Poly students’ home on Hathway Street at approximately 1:45 a.m. Wednesday.
A business administration senior was awoken when the man, who she identified as 5-feet-8-inches tall with short brown hair, turned on her bedroom light.
“I was completely asleep,” she said. Still groggy, she screamed and told him to get out of her room.
At about the same time, her other roommates, who had heard him attempting to open other locked bedroom doors in the house, all opened their doors to see if she was OK, said her roommate who is also a business administration senior. The man bolted downstairs and out of the house into an already-running car, she said.
Although the awoken student could not make out his face because she wasn’t wearing her contact lenses, she and her housemates believe the man to be the same person responsible for at least one of a series of sexual assaults in San Luis Obispo, that began Nov. 10, 2006.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department lists four cases of sexual assault on its Web site, all of which may or may not be attributed to the same composite sketch produced from one of the assaults. All previous victims were attacked in residential or semi-residential neighborhoods while walking alone.
The culprit of Wednesday’s break-in succeeded in opening the front window of the women’s home after attempting to break into all of the house’s windows. The roommate was awakened by the sound of him removing window screens outside. He also attempted to open the garage door, police said.
The roommate didn’t realize anything was wrong until she heard the front window slam shut, but just at that moment, a train went by their house, prevented her from hearing anything else. When the train passed, the roommate heard the hallway floor creak right outside of her room. She listened as the intruder rattled the locked doorknobs of the rest of the bedrooms and grabbed her cell phone to call the police.
Police found a pair of size 30 jean shorts, which police said may have been used to wipe off fingerprints. Despite this precaution, crime scene investigators recovered fingerprints from the windows and the garage door, and are awaiting lab results.
The house’s breaker box was left open downstairs, which may indicate the suspect attempted to tamper with the house’s power.
Although there were wallets and cameras in plain sight downstairs, the intruder left them untouched. He even re-arranged a stereo system he had knocked over upon entry, the roommate said. “We are lucky that none of us got hurt and we are all OK.”
Police told the woman whose room was broken into that the intruder may have been watching their house for awhile.
“We just hope everyone can take our scary experience and be aware,” the roommate said. “We were completely locked in and he still broke in, so it is important to be cautious and on high alert.”
All of the roommates are attending a self-protection seminar put on by Cal Poly’s Sexual Assault-Free Environment Resource Program on Tuesday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. They urge others to attend.