Neighbors in area of rape urged to be cautious|[09/24/07]

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 24, 2007

Residents of a neighborhood just north of Waterways Experiment Station were urged this morning to use extreme caution before opening doors after an elderly woman was raped Friday night, the third attack in the area in four years.

“We want people to be careful,” said Lt. Bobby Stewart of the Vicksburg Police Department.

“Don’t open your door if you don’t know who it is,” he said this morning.

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The 86-year-old Vicksburg woman, who was raped at her home, was back in River Region Medical Center this morning after suffering a heart attack, Stewart said.

The Vicksburg Post does not identify victims of sexual crimes.

The woman described her assailant only as a “black male in his mid-20s.”

Stewart said the suspect broke a window to gain entry to the home.

The man took money, believed to be less than $20, and fled.

Police continued to investigate, but had made no arrest this morning.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for anyone who has information in the case that could lead to an arrest, Stewart said.

The woman told police she was upstairs in her home when she heard a noise and went downstairs to investigate.

The rape occurred blocks from where a 91-year-old woman was raped and assaulted in her home in July 2005. The victim was hospitalized and later died.

Separately in the same area, in the summer of 2004, another elderly woman was attacked in her home.

No arrest has been made in either case, Stewart said.

In another case, an attempted home entry and possible attack was foiled by a dog in the area in 2005.

“We want to get the message out and tell people — if they see anybody — to feel free to call the police,” he said.

The Vicksburg Police Department phone number is 601-636-2511.