Norman PD Working To Identify Suspects Involved In Recent String Of Break-ins
Norman Police say they have identified a suspicious person that may be connected to a string of burglaries across the city but are unable to arrest the man due to a lack of evidence.
Police responded to two locations early Sunday morning.
Near the University of Oklahoma campus, a woman reported being woken up at 5 a.m. to a man standing at the foot of her bed shinning a light in her face.
Police said the man ran away and officers were unable to locate him.
An hour later officers responded to a call from Danny Lazzaro one mile away reporting a man had entered his home.
“This guy is brave, he is daring,” Lazzaro said. “I see the top of his head and I say, ‘What are you doing in my house?!’and he frightens. [The man] shines the flashlight at me, turns and runs. The chase was on at that point. Then he was running up the street and he tells me he has a gun.”
During the first week of December, three calls came into Norman dispatchers describing a similar scenario.
“I ran out after him and followed him about two blocks into the apartment complex out there,” a man told dispatchers. “He started yelling at me saying he had a gun, so I turned around.”
Norman Police Chief Kevin Foster said the department has identified two suspicious persons, saying of one of them, “We do believe this person we identified is a burglar or thief, but currently have no proof.”
Foster said officers have chased a second person twice in west Norman.
“During one of these incidents we did deploy a taser, but the suspect was able to get over a fence into a drainage area that runs through this neighborhood and he could not be located,” Foster said. “However, we later apprehended a suspect that had what appeared to be a taser barb injury while responding to yet another burglary.”
Foster said the department does not believe the arrested individual is the only one operating in the area. He said police are considering forming a special task force to address the string of burglaries.
"We do not want to give out names of those we are looking at, because we are only watching them due to history with the subjects," Foster said.
Norman resident Amanda said she came face-to-face with a man in her home early Thursday morning.
“He absolutely knows people are inside sleeping,” she said. “That’s a different level of criminal.”
Amanda said she fell asleep on her living room couch when her barking dog and an opening door from the garage startled her awake.
“I didn’t see his face, I saw his shape,” Amanda said. “He did have a flashlight in his hand with a ballcap on and a sweatshirt, and he said, ‘so sorry.’”
She said the man had a twangy accent. Amanda said she's thankful for a quick response from Norman Police.
She said a responding officer told her the description she gave matched the ones from more than a week ago.
“Just one mistake, we all do it. None of us are perfect and forget to lock your car or forget to lock your door and you never in a million years think it would happen to you,” Amanda said. “But it did. It happened to me.”
“I promise you we have this as a priority, due to the person entering homes and the fear it is causing for our citizens,” Foster said.