CLEVELAND — Victims are speaking out after a man wearing a mask has shown up at homes where mothers and children live.
It’s happening on Cleveland’s southeast side between Miles Road and the border with Garfield Heights.
On Wednesday, the I-TEAM learned of a third case. Investigators believe all of the crimes may be connected.
In the latest case, a mother heard a noise and when she looked out a window, she found herself confronted by a masked man.
“When I pulled back the curtain, I wasn’t expecting to see a human. I just caught eye contact with a man in all black and a mask,” she said. “Just stared at me in my face while I stood in shock. And I ran and grabbed my son, and like, I called the police.”
In recent days, a predator wearing a mask broke into a home and groped a child.
An attacker wearing a mask broke into another home and sexually assaulted a mother with her kids in another room.
That victim told the I-TEAM, “Until he’s caught or somebody kills him, he’s not gonna stop. They really gotta get him.”
“He let me know that he had already been in my house before and he was watching, so he was already familiar with my home,” she recalled.
Looking back through reports for all three of the cases, they show a man wearing a mask, black clothing, and getting in or trying to get in through back windows.
The mother of the child groped by the intruder said, “I heard my daughter scream. She said that somebody was in here.”
While all of the crime scenes have involved mothers with children, we found women of all ages taking notice.
A grandmother told us, “I keep the doors locked and my windows locked. I double-lock my front door.”
As detectives investigate possible connections between the cases, the victims have some advice.
“Just be safe. Apparently, he knew my schedule,” one said.
A law enforcement source said the FBI is testing DNA evidence.
The FBI is assisting Cleveland police with the investigation because one of the crimes targeted a child.