UPDATE: CPD arrests naked man entering unlocked homes
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has arrested and identified the man accused of breaking into homes around Columbia while naked.
Victor Mendoza, 35, has been charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of sexual misconduct, assault, possession of a controlled substance and resisting arrest.
Police say Mendoza entered residences in the 5800 block of Canaveral Drive and the 5800 block of Neptune Drive at about 1:30 and 2:00 early Saturday morning.
In a press conference Sunday, Interim Police Chief Geoff Jones said in each incident an occupant of the home woke up to find the man in their bedroom.
"In one case, he was located under the bed, and, in one case, he was located on the floor next to the bed," Jones said.
The man left both homes immediately after he was confronted, Jones said. Authorities determined the man entered both homes through unlocked doors.
No occupants of either home reported missing items, property damage or physical injuries. No use of forced entry is suspected.
His motive for entering the homes is currently unknown. Police believe the same suspect attempted to enter other homes in the area.
Jones encouraged anyone who recognizes the man or who has been the victim of a similar incident to contact the department.
"This person is not going into locked homes. He's going into unlocked homes. I need people to pay attention. I need people to lock their doors, and I need someone to call us who recognizes this individual, it's important we get him in custody," he said.
In Sunday's news conference, CPD Public Information Officer Jeff Pitts said witnesses described the suspect as a 5'5" Hispanic male with a goatee and tattoo on his upper left chest.