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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A community is on alert tonight after a man broke into a Dallas apartment and exposed himself to a little girl.

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Police released details Friday of the incident from December 4 at the Las Terrazas Apartments on Brookgreen Drive in North Dallas.

To break into the apartment, the man used an unlocked window like the ones seen at the large apartment complex. Neighbors are now double-checking their own homes and thinking about what they can do to protect themselves.

When Cindy Heithold heard about the 9-year-old victim in last Friday’s break-in, she couldn’t help wonder if children were the only ones in danger.

“It could happen to anybody. Anybody’s vulnerable to being this close to this sort of thing happening,” Heithold said.

She immediately checked her patio door and windows to make sure they were secure, and she has vowed to keep close watch in the days ahead. Police said the masked suspect in the case left through the same unlocked window he used to enter the victim’s apartment. Once inside he exposed himself to the little girl, then touched her before she screamed for help. The break-in has Jose Villa keeping a closer watch over his younger brothers and sisters as he walks them home from school.

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“Pretty scary ’cause probably that might happen to all of us in the apartments, and now we have to take more precautions about locking up our doors and windows,” Villa said.

Neighbors like Al Still said this is a reminder for everyone to be extra careful about securing their apartments.

“For me, I take precautions. I lock both my locks. I make sure that the only other accessible door is always locked,” Still said.

Some have also suggested the possibility of creating a neighborhood watch although others say that could be difficult in a community where many people prefer to keep to themselves.

“It’s a shame that we have to look over our shoulder and it’s a shame that we have to make sure that our home is protected, but there’s nothing else we can do,” Heithold said.

The suspect broke in around 4:20 in the morning. Police are asking the public to contact them if they noticed anything suspicious around that time.

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