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Police search for suspect in string of south Etobicoke break-ins

Toronto police have increased their presence in an area of south Etobicoke as they search for a suspect in a series of break-and-enters and apparent sexual assaults.

Police say door-to-door canvasing will take place.

Six homes were burglarized in an area bounded by Bloor Street to the north, the Queensway to the south, Royal York Road to the west and Park Lawn Road to the east.

Insp. Gerry Cashman wouldn’t say how many of those break-ins included a sexual assault.

“We’re trying to give as much information as we can possibly give without jeopardizing the integrity of the investigation,” Cashman said during a news conference Tuesday.

One of the victims spoke to CityNews exclusively about the incident that took place Monday night and said it made her angry.

“It is something that makes us deeply, deeply angry. Who thinks they can walk in and invade someone elses – not only their personal space in terms of the house but to walk right up and touch you. Even to touch you is an invasion,” she said.

Police say the victims range in age from the young to the old. Cashman wouldn’t say how severe the sex assaults were but said nobody was hospitalized.

Three different police organizations were involved in the early-morning hunt for the suspect: Peel Regional Police’s canine unit was called in and a York Regional Police helicopter was also used. The suspect remains at large and the search was called off around 5:30 a.m.

The man is described as six feet tall with a slim build. It’s not known how he travelled from house to house.

Cushman urged the suspect to surrender.

One of the victims is an elderly woman, who pressed her lifeline to contact police after a man entered her home through a screen door. Other women told police a man had entered their bedroom and touched them.

Investigators apparently found some clothing, a screwdriver and some gloves during the extensive search.

Cashman asked that if any homeowners in the area had security cameras to review that footage and let police know if they see anything unusual.

Tuesday’s incidents come a week and a half after a string of break-and-enters and a sexual assault in the same area. A woman was sent to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.