A sketch released yesterday of a sleepwatcher who woke a young woman earlier this month bears a striking resemblance to a man who watched several university women sleep last year.

But Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter said there are some subtle differences — like age and height descriptions — between the two suspects.

“Until we make an arrest, I don’t think we can say if they’re linked or not,” he said.

Between September 2008 and September 2009, 15 female university students in south-end Halifax reported a man snuck in through an unlocked door or window to watch them sleep.

Last fall, a man who matched the description was arrested minutes after another reported sleep-watching incident.

“There wasn’t enough information to charge that individual with that offence,” Palmeter said.

Then on May 1, a man broke into a family residence on Edinburgh Street in Halifax’s west end. He walked into the bedroom of a young woman who shared the house with her parents and sibling. He woke her and began masturbating. He was confronted and left the house.

Normally it’s difficult to get an accurate description of a suspect when a victim wakes up, but in this case, Palmeter said, the witness was very helpful in providing information.

“The other cases were all university women and in this case it was a family dwelling, so this is a little different. The similarity is that entry was gained through an unlocked door,” said Palmeter.

Another connection is all the incidents appear to be crimes of opportunity, he said.

“In this case, we don’t have enough information to suggest he was scoping out or casing out these homes, but we would ask the public to take a look at the sketch and if they see someone matching that description to call police or if they see someone they believe who is casing out a property or checking out homes or doors to call police.”

Got info?

Anyone with information regarding the man or men in these sketches is asked to call Halifax Regional Police at 490-5016, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.crimestoppers.ns.ca.

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