The Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center police departments issued a safety alert Thursday and requested tips after receiving two reports of home invasion sex assaults within an hour.
Investigators from both agencies have been working cooperatively and believe both incidents are linked. Officials say a "significant amount of resources" have been dedicated to solving the crimes.
Police say the attacks appear to be random, not targeted, and the locations where the perpetrators struck were between 3 and 4 miles apart.
BROOKLYN PARK ATTACK
Police were called to a town home in the 9600 block of Linden Lane for a report of a sexual assault involving an unknown attacker at 6:45 a.m.
Investigators say two suspects entered the home and one man sexually assaulted the victim. After the two fled, the victim called police.
Authorities describe the primary suspect in the rape as a clean-shaven black man in his 30s standing about 5-feet-6-inches tall with a thin but muscular build. He was last seen wearing blue boxers, a white T-shirt and had blue nylon over his head.
Police told FOX 9 News they do not believe the victim's door was locked.
BROOKLYN CENTER ATTACK
At 7:23 a.m., Brooklyn Center police were called to a single-family home in the 7200 block of Girard Avenue North for a reported sexual assault with similar circumstances; however, they do not believe a second suspect was involved in the later attack.
Police describe the primary suspect in the second rape as a clean-shaven black man in his 30s with medium to dark complexion, crooked teeth, a wide nose and a husky build. He is further described as standing between 5-feet-6-inches tall and 6 feet tall and was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt and hat.
Responding officers did not find signs of forced entry at the scene.
REPORT A TIP
Both the Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn Center police departments are asking the public to help identify the suspects in these assaults. Anyone with information is urged to call 911.
BE AWARE, BE SAFE
Police are recommending residents maintain a heightened awareness of their surroundings following the incidents and urge people to put the following safety measures into practice:
- Install secure locks on all doors and windows
- Keep doors locked at all times and install a peephole
- Keep garage doors down whenever possible
- Become familiar with neighbors
- Leave spare keys with a trusted friend instead of in a hiding spot near the lock
- Keep hallways, entrances and garages well-lit
- Keep outside lights on throughout the night
- Leave an interior light on in one or two rooms if no one will be home until after dark
- Activate alarm systems if available
- Call 911 to report any suspicious activity or sounds
Officials especially urge residents to be cautious about letting unknown persons into a home. Police recommend requesting identification from service people, sales people, and even police officers before opening the door. Call to verify identification whenever possible.