Police say the same man may be responsible for 10 burglaries in the Belair-Edison and Mayfield communities in Northeast Baltimore since June 20.
In the latest burglary, the man broke into a house in Mayfield on Saturday evening, helped himself to some food and drinks in the kitchen then crept upstairs and grabbed a woman's arm while she was sleeping, Northern District police said.
Ann M. Myers, of the 2400 block of Pelham Ave., said the burglar helped himself to chocolate chip cookies, crackers, a beer, a wine cooler and $80. Then he went upstairs.
"My husband and I were in bed when someone grabbed me. . . .," Mrs. Myers said. "I saw a large figure all in black lying by my bed.
"After I screamed, the guy jumped up and started running," she said. "My husband kicked him in the ribs, but it didn't really affect him. He ran down the stairs, straight through the back door of the house and vanished," she said.
In the Myers burglary, police were able to get fingerprints from the wine cooler bottle but have not yet identified a suspect.
Since June 20, six burglaries have been reported at homes in the 2400 and 2600 blocks of Pelham Ave. and four others on neighboring streets, police said.
"We have had officers knocking on doors to talk to the residents about the burglaries and we have had bike patrols throughout the area," said Major Bert Shirey, commander of the Northern District. "But despite our best efforts to catch this guy, he has eluded us.
"That's why we believe he's from the area," Major Shirey said. "Either he's very familiar with the neighborhood or he lives nearby. I could be wrong."
The compact Mayfield neighborhood sits on a slight hill between Clifton and Herring Run parks with Lake Montebello on the west and Crossland Avenue on the east. Mayfield is an exceptionally well-groomed neighborhood of pre-World War II houses.
Adjoining Belair-Edison sprawls from Herring Run Park in the north, Clifton Park in the west to Sinclair Lane on the south and east. The mostly blue-collar and middle-income neighborhood features sturdy two- and three-bedroom brick homes.
According to police, the burglar generally enters through first-floor windows. One home was entered through a basement door, and another through the back door. And in some cases, the intruder stopped in the kitchen to grab a bite to eat and drink a beer, Major Shirey said.
Police described the suspect as a slim man in his 20s with close-cut hair who usually wears dark athletic-type shoes and dark clothing.
The suspect's race has not yet been determined -- he was described as a black by Mrs. Myers and as a white by other victims, police said.
Regardless of the descriptions, police believe the same man is responsible for the burglaries.
"They [the burglaries] are also similar in that nothing substantial was taken from each of the homes," Major Shirey said. "But in four of the cases, the women residents of the house were touched by the intruder although they were not sexually molested.
"We believe it's the same individual, or at least we're working on that theory," Major Shirey said.
"If he's still getting away with all we're doing in the area right now, then he's very familiar with the area."
Police asked anyone with information to contact Sergeant Richard Barger or Officer Jerry Heid at the Northern District, 396-2444.