Boston police have increased patrols in Beacon Hill and are encouraging residents to be aware of their surroundings after a woman was sexuality assaulted and robbed in her home earlier this week.
Police officers met with nearly 50 Beacon Hill residents Thursday evening to discuss the incident and other safety concerns at a community meeting.
According to police, a woman in her 20s was walking to her home near the intersection of Joy and Myrtle streets at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. When she was entering her home, a man brandishing a weapon that may have been a knife forced his way in behind her.
Once inside, he sexually assaulted and robbed her. Police have said the woman did not know the attacker.
Police Captain Thomas F. Lee described the man as younger black male dressed in a work jacket and black jeans with a backpack and a hard hat.
Police have also released images of the suspect using the victim’s ATM card and are working with residents and businesses that could also provide security footage.
“When something like this happens it kind of makes everyone afraid. As a husband and a father of a young daughter, I’d be afraid also for my daughter or wife out walking at night,” Lee told the crowd.
Lee said the incident does not appear to be a pattern for the area because the suspect’s description and the crime do not match any other crimes in the area.
“We don’t want to frighten people. This is a very safe neighborhood. It has been; it continues to be,” said Lee.
This week’s attack is the first sexual assault the neighborhood has seen this year, and police have increased patrols of the neighborhood since the assault.
Lee said a task force has been assembled to work “around the clock” and a “very active” investigation is underway.
Beacon Hill has also reported six break-ins in the past 30 days, which is high for the neighborhood, according to Lee.
A 22-year-old homeless man was arrested on a rooftop on Irving Street last week while attempting to break and enter a home. He matches the description of the person described in some of the other break-ins.
Residents were encouraged to find ways to discourage crime by locking doors and windows, and making sure they lock properly; posting a “beware of dog” sign even if they do not own a dog, leaving the lights on if they are out for the evening; and calling the police if they see someone suspicious, even if they look like construction or utility worker.