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DALLAS -- Police are searching for a suspect who broke into a North Dallas home and raped a woman at knifepoint early Friday.

Dallas Police Department spokeswoman Sr. Cpl. Sherri Jeffrey said an unknown man got into a home on Ferndale Road through a window. He then approached the resident, who was sleeping, and raped her at knifepoint.

The suspect, who is believed to be a 35-year-old black man who speaks with an African accent, fled afterward. He was wearing dark clothing, including a dark colored hoodie, Jeffrey said.

While there have been no other similar crimes in the area, the rape occurred a day after a burglary in the same neighborhood. Jewelry and electronics were stolen from a home. While the thief there broke in through a window, Jeffrey said the two are not related.The department has investigated five reported rapes in the area in the past year.

Residents in the neighborhood, where it isn't uncommon to find iron gates on doors to security alarm warnings, are on edge.

"I guess it can happen anywhere, anytime," said homeowner Adrian Thebeau, "but I'm kind of sad that it's happened here. But that's the kind of thing that can happen anywhere though, really."

Cheryl Croall knew of the burglary, but not the rape. She said she had an alarm system like many other residents.

"I think most people have it just for a little bit of added security, but it certainly isn't deterring people too much," she said.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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