Prowler/home intruder remains at large in Rochester Hills, Troy

By: Mary Beth Almond, Terry Oparka | C&G Newspapers | Published October 12, 2019

 This man is suspected in a string of prowling in Rochester Hills and an intruder incident in Troy.

This man is suspected in a string of prowling in Rochester Hills and an intruder incident in Troy.

Photo provided by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office

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Police want anyone with information to help them identify a man recently seen looking in windows of homes in Rochester Hills.

The suspect is described as a black man, about 20, with a thin build, short hair and possibly a goatee. 

According to a press release from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, he is believed to have been involved in multiple incidents in Rochester Hills — looking into windows or back sliding doors before running off — since March. 

Capt. Michael Johson of the Oakland County Sheriff's Office’s Rochester Hills substation said the suspect has been caught on camera prowling outside homes in Rochester Hills on four occasions  — March 3, May 24, Aug. 10 and Oct. 8. Police said the incidents have mainly occurred in the south end of Rochester Hills, on Monterey, Hazelton, Dearborn and Villanova streets.

Camera footage captures the man looking in the window of a Rochester Hills home around 10:30 p.m. on one of occasions, according to Johnson.

“He was also caught walking on a back porch, and was caught on a Ring doorbell, but after seeing the camera, he ducked down into the landscaping, that type of thing,” he said.

The suspect never entered any homes in Rochester Hills, police said.

“There’s always the concern of the potential of an escalation. Obviously, he has already entered homes in Troy, and that is a concern,” Johnson said.

Although a fifth incident in Rochester Hills was reported, Johnson said he does not believe it was the same suspect.

“We are better off saying there were four. There’s a woman saying that she saw a kid with a similar description, but he was at her front door during the day. So it’s hard to say someone is a prowler when they are at your front door during the day. It just doesn’t really fit,” he said.

Police believe the same suspect entered a home in Troy, reportedly touching a woman’s leg, and was captured on video Aug. 19. 

“Troy police detectives have been vigorously pursuing all leads in the home invasion which occurred in Troy, and we are eager to get this suspect off the streets,” Troy Police Chief Frank Nastasi said in a prepared statement. “We are asking all residents to report any information related to this case.”

According to the police report, the intruder reportedly touched a woman’s leg at 2 a.m. Aug. 19 at a home on Amberwood Drive, near South Boulevard and Rochester Road. 

The woman was in her bed when she felt someone touch her leg. She screamed, and the man ran out of the room, according to the report. 

Police said they believe the suspect entered and exited the home through a basement door.

A K-9 track indicated that the man may have traveled on foot through neighboring yards, the release states.

According to the report, nothing was stolen from the home, and multiple family members were home at the time of the incident.

Troy police Sgt. Meghan Lehman said that the woman had come from a home in Rochester Hills just prior to returning to the home in Troy. 

There are other reports which investigators believe are related, but have not been able to be confirmed yet. 

“It appears this individual may be escalating his behavior with the home invasion in the city of Troy,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement. “We want this guy off the streets as soon as possible.”

Lehman said that another report of a prowler in a backyard in Troy was determined to be unfounded. 

“We really want to catch him and are combining resources with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office to track this guy down,” she said. 

“We’d  love to figure out who he his,” Johnson added. “We’ve exhausted a lot of resources on this, and we’d like to be able to catch up with this young man.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Troy Police Department at (248) 524-3477 or the Oakland County Sheriff's Office’s Rochester Hills substation at (248) 537-3530.

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