Rahway burglary, sexual assault suspect being sought by police

Authorities are seeking assistance from the public in identifying and locating a man believed to be responsible for no fewer than three residential break-ins that occurred in about the same half-hour in Rahway early this morning, including one in which a woman was sexually assaulted, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan and Rahway Police Chief John Rodger jointly announced Friday.

Two of the three burglaries occurred at homes about 150 feet apart on the 1000 block of Hazel Place, while the third happened at a home around the corner on the 100 block of East Hazelwood Avenue.

At approximately 4:30 a.m., police responded to the first incident to find a homeowner who reported hearing a noise inside his residence, according to the preliminary investigation. The homeowner exited his bedroom and spotted an unknown person in the hallway who immediately fled the premises; it was later determined that the suspecthad made a forced entry through a second-story window.

Minutes later, police responded to another home where residents reported being awoken by a noise outside. Going to investigate, the homeowners spotted an unknown person attempting to make entry through a rear sliding glass door, and when they yelled out to him, he ran.

Shortly before 5 a.m., police responded to the East Hazelwood Avenue home to find a 67-year-old woman who said she had been asleep on a sofa when she awoke to an unknown man on top of her, having made entry through a rear door. The woman was hospitalized with minor injuries.

The suspect, who remains at large, is described as a black male in his late 20s or early 30s with a medium complexion and a medium build, wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and pants.

The Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit is assisting the Rahway Police Department in this investigation. Anyone with information about the break-ins or the identity of the suspect is being urged to contact Rahway Police Detective Andrew Webb at 732-669-3613.