Breaking into an occupied home at night for a burglary or sexual assault falls into a category of crime that brings heightened concern from police officers.
"It is unusual. Thankfully we don't get a lot of hot prowl burglaries or people going in to touch a child," Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Lisa Banayat said.
"It's pretty brazen," she said.
While unusual compared to the overall number of violent crimes, they occur with enough frequency for people to be vigilant in locking doors and windows and protecting themselves.
In addition to Tuesday morning's break-in in the South Park area of Santa Rosa, here's a sampling of some of the incidents that have occurred in Sonoma County:
A 13-year-old Santa Rosa girl reported being accosted by a male neighbor in her home at 2:20 a.m. May 24.
When the girl woke a parent in a nearby bedroom, the man ran from the home in the 2100 block of Tokay Street, police said.
Officers found property from the girl's home at the neighbor's home and arrested Gregory Mawn, 40.
Mawn remained in custody Tuesday without bail because of a probation violation. He was charged with committing a lewd act on a child under 14 and burglary.
On Dec. 22, 2007, an Occidental man followed two women to their Cotati home, snuck inside through an unlocked door and stripped naked. He then went to one sleeping woman and pulled down her pajama bottoms.
The 21-year-old woman and her 20-year-old friend screamed, and they tussled over the pajamas. The women were able to flee the house, as did the man.
Jaime Hernandez Gonzalez was convicted in April of attempted sexual assault and in May was given a sentence of six years.
In February 2005, a 7-year-old Rohnert Park girl was molested at night by a man standing at her bedroom window.
The girl heard the window opening and went to see what it was and found the man there. He reached in and briefly fondled her arm and genitals, she told police. No arrest has been made.
In April 2004, a Bennett Valley mother found her 5-year-old daughter crying with her pajama pants pulled down. The girl said a man had come in and taken off her pants.
The girl shared her bedroom with a younger brother and slept on a top bunk. Police later arrested Michael Gebre, 19, of Santa Rosa. He'd climbed up to the upper bunk, put a blanket over her head and pulled down her pants and touched her thigh.
Gebre was suspected in eight nighttime intrusions and several sexual assaults in Sonoma County and Seattle. He has been given an 18-year sentence in Washington state for similar charges and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for two 2004 sexual assaults in Sonoma County.
In 2003, in Petaluma, at least nine homes were entered and sleeping women and girls accosted. In each case, the prowler tickled the legs and feet of his victim. No one was ever arrested.
Staff Research Supervisor Vonnie Matthews contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@ pressdemocrat.com.
Resources To Help
North Bay Suicide Prevention 24-hour hotline: 855-587-6373
NAMI Sonoma County warmline: 707-527-6655
Sonoma County Psychiatric Emergency Services: 707-576-8181
For information on Sonoma County support groups, call 707-527-6655 or go to namisonomacounty.org