By CBSBoston.com Staff

MELROSE (CBS) – Police continue searching for a suspect who tried to steal multiple cars and broke into two Melrose homes early Wednesday morning. The string of break-ins is considered random, prompting police to issue a warning to lock cars at homes.

Police Chief Michael Lyle said just before 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, the man entered an unlocked home on Lynde Street, walked into a 19-year-old’s bedroom and demanded her purse and keys.

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Stunned to see the stranger, the girl fought back and was stabbed in the neck during the confrontation. The struggle between the two carried outside of the house. Hearing the commotion, the girl’s father came outside and the man ran off.

“She thought she was dreaming. She couldn’t actually believe it, and I could see that happening to anybody. ‘This isn’t real.’ Then it became very real, very quick for her,” Lyle said. “I give her a lot of credit. She fought back. And he took off quick.”

The girl’s father said the suspect got the knife from a kitchen drawer. Fortunately, he said it was one of the dullest knives in the kitchen.

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In total, the suspect is believed to have entered two unlocked homes and several unlocked vehicles.

The suspect tried to steal a car not far from the Lynde Street home, but only got about 100 yards. The car started because the fob was nearby in the home, but about 100 yards away it got out of range and the vehicle deactivated.

The suspect also stole a second car. It was located a short time later in another town, but police did not release additional details.

“This is a random act. In every case there was an unlocked vehicle or the front door of the house was unlocked. I can’t emphasize enough to everybody in our community or everywhere – lock your doors,” Lyle said. “You have a lock on your front door for a reason or back door. Please lock it. And your vehicles, you’re only making yourself a target having an unlocked vehicle.”

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No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to call Melrose Police.

CBSBoston.com Staff