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Police believe same man involved in area rapes

Newark Police sketch of the rape suspect, who has been described as about 19-22 years old and about 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall with a medium build. He has short brown or light brown hair, which may be in a buzz cut style.

5:18 p.m., Oct. 30, 2006--Newark Police said Monday they believe that the rape of a University of Delaware student in the early morning hours Saturday may have been committed by the same man involved in two earlier incidents, one a rape and another a home invasion.

In all three incidents, the suspect has been described as about 19-22 years old and about 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall with a medium build. He has short brown or light brown hair, which may be in a buzz cut style.

Saturday, he entered a residence in the 100 block of Haines Street and raped and assaulted a 20-year-old UD student before fleeing. Both of the other incidents occurred early Sunday, Oct. 8. A 19-year-old woman was raped in her home on Wilbur Street about 5:30 a.m. when a man entered her residence while she was asleep.

Another woman, a UD student, reported a similar incident at 4:50 a.m. that morning when a man entered her residence in the 200 block of East Park Place and awakened her as she lay in bed. She immediately screamed and the suspect fled.

“The University of Delaware community is very concerned about these incidents, and we encourage both UD students as well as community members to take extra precautions,” UD Police Chief James J. Flatley said. He said residents should make sure all windows, doors and other possible entryways are secured, adding the campus community should be on the lookout for suspicious activity.

Flatley said University Police and Newark Police have a strong relationship, adding, “We will provide them with any assistance they need if requested.”

In general, Flatley said, members of the University community are reminded to always be alert and vigilant, and to be aware of their surroundings. If concerned about traveling at night, contact UD Public Safety for the safety escort service by calling (302) 831-6666.

Public Safety offers the following safety tips:

  • Always be alert and aware of your surroundings and show a confident attitude;
  • Given the serious nature of these crimes, Flatley suggested that all suspicious activity should be reported to 911, or to the University of Delaware Police (831-2222) on campus or the Newark Police (366-7111) off campus. Timely reports of information make it easier for the police to gather critical evidence and increase the odds of recovering stolen property and successfully prosecuting a criminal;
  • Avoid walking alone at night--walk with a group, take a University shuttle bus, or call Public Safety for an escort--if you must walk alone please make sure to use well lighted paths and sidewalks and take the most direct route;
  • Keep your doors locked (room and vehicle). Do not prop open residence doors--this is an invitation for trespassers;
  • Do not lend your keys, ID card, or PDI card to anyone - even your friends--not everyone will take the same care as you would;
  • Report all maintenance problems (broken locks, windows, etc.) to Housing immediately;
  • Attend Security Awareness programs held on campus for valuable information and safety tips;
  • Identify your valuables--register your computer, bicycle, stereo, etc. with Public Safety;
  • Use crosswalks and pedestrian crossing signals to safely cross streets; and
  • Be aware of campus and local crime trends. You are your best protection; educate yourself.

For more information, go to [www.udel.edu/PublicSafety].

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