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Burglary Suspect Who Watched California Couple Sleep Tied To Separate Rape, Authorities Say

Anthony Cifuentes was allegedly captured on surveillance video standing over Rachel and Kevin Sandoval in February. Now California authorities say DNA has linked him to the rape of a woman one week earlier.

By Dorian Geiger
A police handout of Anthony Cifuente

A California burglary suspect who was arrested for allegedly watching a couple sleep inside their home earlier this year has been linked to a separate sexual assault through DNA evidence, authorities say.

Anthony Andrew Cifuentes, 31, who was taken into police custody in April for allegedly burglarizing a California family’s home, was identified as the rapist in a separate burglary in San Bernardino County, authorities said.

On Feb. 22, 2022, Cifuentes was allegedly filmed by security cameras breaking and entering the home of Kevin and Rachel Sandoval. Police, who described the footage as “alarming,” said Cifuentes hovered over the couple and stared at them as they slept. 

Authorities said Cifuentes entered their property after removing a portable air conditioner from one of the home’s windows. For several seconds, Cifuentes, who is wearing a ball cap backwards, can be seen silently fixating on the Sandovals in the black and white footage. 

The couple was unharmed in the unnerving incident.

“I play the footage and I’m like, instantly, everything was just like, ‘Oh my God,’'' Rachel Sandoval previously told KSLA. "What could have happened? Anything could have happened. We don’t know.”

Cifuentes was later arrested on April 11.

"I get it,” Rachel Sandoval added. “You want to break into somebody's house, you need money for whatever. But why are you standing there staring at us, what?"

Surveillance video of Anthony Cifuente

Authorities initially withheld his name from public release, however, while they investigated whether the 31-year-old was involved in any other burglaries in the county.

"Even though he's in custody right now, I know it's hard for her to sleep,” Kevin Sandoval told KTLA. “Things have been a little different. ... I feel violated and I feel like I let my family down. I'm supposed to be the provider and protector."

On Tuesday, officials announced they’d used DNA evidence to connect Cifuentes to a separate burglary and sexual assault of a woman, whose house was broken into approximately a week before the break-in at the Sandoval home.

Similarly, detectives allege that Cifuentes forcibly opened a kitchen window, gaining entry to the woman’s home, later raping her as she slept in her bed.

Law enforcement seized additional evidence at Cifuentes’ home after executing a search warrant which further implicated him in the residential burglary and sexual assault, according to officials.

He’s been charged with rape, assault with intent to commit rape, and two counts of burglary. If convicted on all charges, Cifuentes faces life in prison. Detectives, who believe Cifuentes may have victimized others, are now encouraging the public to come forward with any additional information.

Cifuentes is being held at a San Bernardino detention facility, per online jail records obtained by Oxygen.com. His next court date in the burglary case has been set for July 25. It’s unclear if he’s retained legal counsel to comment on his behalf.

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