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Neighbors nervous after homeless man attacks

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Posted at 1:10 PM, Sep 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-14 16:10:57-04

Neighbors are reevaluating their safety mechanisms after two women were assaulted within 7 hours about a mile apart a Bakersfield Police report said.

Early Sunday morning, at 1:30 a.m. a woman living in a house off New Stine Road, near Ming Avenue, woke up to see a man in her bedroom, he then tried to sexually assault her. She screamed and he ran away leaving through an unlocked window, the report said.

Several hours later around 8 a.m. on Kirkside Drive, a man broke through a window, attacked and sexually assaulted an older woman. She is now hospitalized from her injuries, according to neighbors.

The man then stole her car.

At 11:45 a.m. the car was found wrecked in Santa Maria. The driver, according to police was 29-year-old Abel Lopez.

Detectives were in the New Stine neighborhood today interviewing neighbors to find out if the second assault was related to the first.

Neighbors and police report a homeless man frequented the Kirkside drive neighborhood. One neighbor said the older woman fed the man, to be kind.

The neighbors in both areas say they've never seen anything like this happen. Almost all of the neighbors in the Kirkside neighborhood, that 23ABC spoke with, had alarm systems. One neighbor has the company coming out Monday.

"To come back and reevaluate see if there's anything they can do about a broken window setting off an alarm," Janet Seinturier said. Senturier said her protection other than an alarm system is a gun, but she was concerned if her alarm didn't go off that she wouldn't have enough time to get to her firearm.

Another neighbor said there's nothing that can be done to keep a burglar out. Bob Addington takes care of his elderly mother and said he knows the woman who was attacked in the Kirkside neighborhood.

"It was just a really sad situation, the lady is really quiet and nice, I just am really shocked," Addington said.

Sergeant Joe Grubbs advises neighbors to call Bakersfield Police for anything they see out of the ordinary, or to ask for an extra patrol. He also says the best defense is a neighborhood that watches out for one another.