ESCONDIDO (CNS) - A man suspected of breaking into several North County homes and sexually assaulting young girls as they slept in 2013 is in custody, police revealed Wednesday.
Gilbert Andrew Chavarria, 27, was arrested Monday on suspicion of four counts of residential burglary with sexual assault and five counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, according to Escondido police Chief Craig Carter. His bail was set at $4.5 million.
The first alleged crime happened in June 2013 in the Oak Hill neighborhood of Escondido. Two months later, police found someone acting suspiciously in the same area. That person ran away and activity went dead with no leads.
Last weekend, officers finally caught up with Chavarria after DNA samples from multiple crime scenes were sent to the California Department of Justice for familial DNA testing, which matched Chavarria to the samples.
"These families have closure now, whatever that means. The children are afraid to go to bed. This predator has changed their lives forever," Escondido police chief Jason Rouse said.
Chavarria works in the automotive field and lives in Escondido.
Most of Chavarria's alleged victims were pre-teens, but the youngest was 5, according to police. During the break-ins, the perpetrator cut off a portion of the girls' clothing, police said.
He's scheduled to face a judge Thursday afternoon. Investigators believe more victims could come forward in this case.