A MAN who broke in and sexually assaulted a 90-year-old Wangaratta woman in her bed had been seen loitering in her street during the weeks leading up to the attack.
Police yesterday released an image of a man they wish to speak to about the incident, which occurred at 4am on February 5 in the Murdoch Road home.
The woman woke to find a man, who forced entry into the house, standing beside her bed. He sexually assaulted her and fled.
Police are unsure if he left on foot or in a car.
Detective Sen-Sgt Barry McIntosh said the attacker was seen loitering near the home in the week or weeks before February 5.
“Witnesses have seen this individual close to where the offence took place and not long before the offence took place,” he said.
“This person was seen sitting very close to where the offence ultimately took place but we believe he may have been moving about the area particularly in the early morning in the week or weeks leading up to the offence.”
Sen-Sgt McIntosh said the man may be from Wangaratta.
Investigators were keeping an open mind as to whether the attacker could strike again.
“We don’t want the residents of Wangaratta to be living in fear,” he said.
Police had increased both visible and undercover patrols and they were working on identifying “a number of suspects”.
Sen-Sgt McIntosh said police were certain someone in Wangaratta knew the man.
Murdoch Road was a busy street and there could have been cars going past at the time of the assault.
Sen-Sgt McIntosh said information could be given anonymously at the Wangaratta police station, by phoning Crime Stoppers or face to face with police investigators.
Contact the Wangaratta police on (03) 5723 0888 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.