Police seek suspect who seems to be targeting women home alone

Posted at 9:56 PM, Jun 12, 2014

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- A few minutes after Carleen West’s husband left for work Tuesday morning, she realized she wasn’t home alone.

“Just as I peeked around the window, he peeked in the window,” West said.

She had been heading downstairs to change for work when she noticed someone standing on her patio. Right outside her back door, looking in, was a man she had never seen before.

“I ran to the phone to grab it, as he came to the door,” West said.

In a panic, she immediately dialed 911.

“He kind of just stood there,” West said. “And I started to yell at him to get out of my yard, and as I was reaching for the phone, calling 911, yelled that somebody was in my yard, he kind of stood there for quite some time, kind of just watched me.”

The man eventually walked away through her backyard, but this was just the second of three stops he would make, according to police.

“He appears to be targeting women and he appears to be targeting women who are home alone,” said Roxeanne Vainuku, a spokeswoman for West Valley City Police Department.

About an hour before the man was seen at West’s home, he assaulted an 88-year-old woman inside her house, according to Vainuku.

“We do have a lot of concern about the escalation of this type of an event,” Vainuku said.

Following Tuesday’s incidents, police were called to a third home Wednesday night. Around 9:30 p.m., authorities said a woman found the same man standing inside her house. As soon as she started screaming, the man fled.

“We’re just not sure at this point what his motivation is,” Vainuku said. “We’re not sure what he’s doing here. We are sure though that we want to catch this guy. And right now, this is absolutely priority No. 1 for West Valley City Police.”

Until he’s caught, West said she won’t feel safe, not even in her own home.

“He’s still out there. Hopefully, we get him,” West said.

The suspect is described as a white male, 20-30 years old and approximately 6-feet tall. He was last seen wearing a beanie or knit hat.

Anyone with information is asked to call West Valley City Police at 801-840-4000.