Montarius Allen Banks has been known to sexually target women who smoke cigarettes in Denton County, police say.
In June 2015, he exposed himself to a woman in a Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot in Denton after asking her for a cigarette, according to a Denton police arrest affidavit. In recent months, he's been focusing on women in Lake Dallas in the Ashleye Village Apartments, 155 W. Overly Drive, and the nearby Lake Haven Estates mobile home park at 201 N. Shady Shores Road.
He asks the women for a cigarette, introduces himself under a false name and later burglarizes their residence or exposes himself, according to Lake Dallas police spokeswoman Lt. Vikki Chandler.
In the most recent case, on Sept. 27, he attempted to sexually assault a woman in her living room at the Ashleye Village Apartments, Chandler said. Banks is still at large, but police have a warrant for his arrest on charges of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit a sexual assault and indecent exposure. Other charges are pending.
Chandler said local police are learning more about Banks' activity in recent months. They're trying to get him off the street before things get worse.
"We have so many different offenses now, and we have more witnesses coming forward," Chandler said. "We're in the process of returning calls. We have a lot of people who have seen him in other places in Lake Dallas, and he's approached them with the same method of operation, asking for a cigarette."
Chandler said police have been able to connect Banks to four incidents in Lake Dallas, all of which have occurred in the evening hours between Feb. 28 and Sept. 27. They were able to identify him after getting a tip from a resident who knows him, she said.
Chandler said he's asked all of the victims for a cigarette at one point.
The first burglary occurred Feb. 28 at Ashleye Village, where police believe he stole between $300 and $400 from an apartment. A neighbor saw him running down the stairs and out of the complex, Chandler said. The apartment owner had left briefly but returned to find the money missing.
The apartment resident told police Banks had asked her for a cigarette within two weeks before the burglary. He introduced himself as "Brandon," according to Chandler.
Several months later, in August, Banks was seen three times at a woman's mobile home in Lake Haven Estates, Chandler said. A witness first saw Banks walking out of the woman's house but never reported it to police, she said.
Police don't know whether he burglarized the home at that time. Chandler said the resident was known to leave her door open during the day.
Later that month, a neighbor saw Banks masturbating while looking through a window in the same woman's home, according to police. About a week later, Banks broke into the house and stole dirty underwear out of the resident's hamper, Chandler said.
That resident is cooperating with police, but Chandler said there have been several unreported home and vehicle burglaries around the neighborhood.
In the Sept. 27 burglary at Ashleye Village, Banks walked in a woman's apartment after she answered the door. The woman had been home with her two young children when Banks reached under the woman's night gown and attempted to digitally penetrate her over her underwear, Chandler said.
Banks exposed himself before the woman left the apartment with her two kids, she said. It's unclear whether anything was stolen from that apartment.
The charges on Banks' arrest warrant are related to the Sept. 27 burglary, Chandler said.
Jail records show Banks is a Denton resident who lives in the 1000 block of Minor Circle. Lake Dallas police said they have't been able to find him as of Thursday evening.
He's been arrested several times by Denton police and the Denton County Sheriff's Office between 2013 and 2015.
The most recent jail booking came on June 24, 2015, on an array of theft charges. He also was booked on charges of indecent exposure, possession of a prohibited weapon (brass knuckles) and two counts of drug possession.
He served almost five months in jail before he was released in early November 2015.
JULIAN GILL can be reached at 940-566-6882.