TACOMA, Wash. - Tacoma police tell KIRO 7 they’ve launched a burglary investigation and are looking for a man in connection with at least five downtown-area break-ins at businesses and residences in the last several months.
KIRO 7 obtained video from one break-in along the 700 block of St. Helens Avenue near City Hall that shows him, at one point, holding what appears to be a knife behind his back. He later appears in the video naked.
“Just kind of lurking in corners and what not,” said one of the building owners, who was too shaken to show her face on camera. “Vulnerable, violated.”
She and her husband agreed to speak to KIRO 7 to warn others.
"I don't want people to feel unsafe coming down there, so it’s a really fine line for me,” she said. “Yet I feel a sense of obligation that people need to know."
She said the man spent more than hour inside her building and apparently used a door code to get inside. They said he returned two days later, after they’d changed the code, and damaged the front door, but didn’t get back inside.
Tacoma police said the man reportedly hasn’t stolen anything during the break-ins or hurt anyone, but said that his behavior is suspicious and his motive unknown.
The man has an unrelated warrant for his arrest for misdemeanor trespassing, police said, and no known violent history.
Anyone who sees the man should call 911, according to police, and not approach him.
"I've been in that community over 20 years and I’ve never experienced this type of feeling before,” said the building owner.
On Thursday, Tacoma police identified the man as 31-year-old Tyrese E. Drayton.
Police said he has a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest.
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