Prowler with rifle caught on video trying to get into Newcastle, Renton homes

May 1, 2019 Update: The Newcastle Police Department tweeted Wednesday that the man may have prowled a home in Bellevue in addition to the homes in Newcastle and Renton.

Our previous coverage below:

A man with what appears to be a rifle has been captured on video trying to get into at least three Renton homes and one Newcastle home, according to Renton police and the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators believe the same man is connected to all four cases. He has not been able to get inside any of the locked homes but has gotten inside an SUV, according to police, who said he didn’t steal anything from the vehicle.

All four reported cases happened early Monday morning between 2 a.m. and 3:15 a.m., according to police.

Video obtained by KIRO 7 shows the man appear to try to shield his face from one of the home cameras. He’s seen trying the front door to a home with one hand, rifle in the other, and leaves without getting inside.

Renton police said the man approached homes in the 100 block of Hoquiam Ave NE near Maplewood Heights Elementary School.

The man also went to a home on the 13800 block of SE 86th Street in Newcastle, according to deputies, who said the man tried to open the garage and front doors.

"It was early in the morning; we got a notification from the app and we saw somebody in the courtyard, saw somebody with a rifle,” said the Newcastle homeowner in an interview with KIRO 7. He did not want to be publicly identified.

"It's a very scary moment, you know, somebody trying to come into a house, trying to break in, with a rifle,” the man said.

In Renton, police said the man approached at least three homes in the 100 block of Hoquiam Avenue NE that were all locked. Surveillance video released by police to KIRO 7 showed the man inside the family’s SUV that was parked in the driveway.

"It's scary, right, I feel safe at home and then you see video of a guy with what appears to be a fairly large rifle, going door to door,” said Mark Mauermann, who lives near one of the homes the man approached. "I had a tough time sleeping last night."

He’s not the only neighbor on edge.

"My son is very nervous about going to bed at night,” said April Kreal.

Investigators tell KIRO 7 they have not confirmed yet whether the rifle is real but they’re treating it as such.

“This is super concerning,” said Sgt. Christy Mathews with the Renton Police Department. “Someone walking around in the middle of the night, carrying a rifle, checking car doors and checking house doors.”

"It looks like he might be high or drunk or, you know, not all together there,” said Mathews.

Investigators, who say it’s likely the man has been to more homes than the four that have been reported, now want to identify the man and speak to him. They also want people to check their surveillance cameras for additional video of the man.

Call the Renton Police Department or the King County Sheriff’s Office with tips on the man’s identity.

Investigators are asking the public to check their home video cameras from April 29 around 3 a.m. give or take 15-20 mins.

Anyone who recognizes the suspect, is asked to call call 911 or 425-235-2121 and reference case 19-4809.

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