Local News

Sep 15, 2010 9:52 PM by Ariel Wesler

Suspected rapist puts neighbors on alert

Neighbors are on alert tonight after investigators say a woman was raped in their apartment complex. The incident happened just before 1 a.m. Saturday at the Sumida Gardens Apartments, near Patterson and Hollister in Goleta.


The woman is 34 years old and had just moved into this apartment. During her second night alone, she says the man climbed into her apartment through an unlocked kitchen window, tied her up, and raped her. He then left through the front door.

"If this was just a completely random, pick that window. that's frightening," said Peter Klippel.

He lives with his wife just across from where the attack happened, but didn't hear anything.

"My daughters and granddaughters come by and there are a lot of students here," Klippel said.

"We both got pepper spray and now we keep a knife in the top of my drawers," said Holly Whipple.

Sumida Gardens has since sent out a letter warning all of the residents. Management has also asked for more police patrol and hired private overnight security.

The apartment complex is known as a family community and lot of residents leave their windows open, but if an intruder wanted to get in, all that stands between them and an open window is a thin screen panel.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Detectives collected evidence and are still looking for the suspected rapist and updating the alleged victim.

"[They've been] asking me questions and informing me of what they've been doing," the woman said during a phone interview with KSBY.

And neighbors are ready for action.

"Sick puppy. Throw the book at him because if you do it once, you're bound to do it again," Klippel said.

Sheriff's detectives say the woman was not able to get a good look at her attacker, but described him as possibly white and short. Investigators cannot say whether the victim and rapist knew each other.

The woman did not wish to be identified and has already moved out.

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