BPD are investigating five voyeurism cases reported since September 9, 2018. The sketch provided of the suspect was developed from a description given during the investigation of one of the most recent cases. The suspect is described as a white male, 20-30 years of age, slender build, dark hair and many times wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
Between July and December of 2017, BPD received at least 15 reports of voyeurism all centered around an eight square block area near the York Neighborhood and Laurel Park, both which are a short distance from Western Washington University. There were four additional cases reported in the early months of 2018, but the last five have all been within one month and all appear to be similar in nature to the 2017 cases. As previously reported, the suspect has been caught peering into windows while holding a flashlight or cell phone up. Several of the victims reported the suspect exposed himself and was masturbating.
Bellingham Police want to remind residents to immediately call 9-1-1 when they become aware of a stranger looking into the window of their home. We do not recommend going outside to call out to, chase or otherwise engage the suspect. Make the call to 9-1-1 and, if it can be done safely from inside the house, watch which way the suspect runs.
This type of crime has historically been underreported for a variety of reasons, including not wanting to bother law enforcement, or being unsure of what just happened. However, voyeurism is a serious crime – it has the potential for the suspect to get more and more daring thereby increasing the danger level for future victims. We ask the public to call 9-1-1 immediately to make the report, as this exponentially increases our chances of catching the suspect.
Here are several ways with which to safeguard your home from a voyeur. We recommend you do the following:
- Close and lock all windows
- Close curtains or blinds (tilt the angle on the blinds to not allow a view from outside to the inside)
- Turn off inside lights
- Turn on porch lights
If you have information regarding the identity of the suspect in the sketch, call Detective Howell at 360-778-8682 or visit the online tip form at https://www.cob.org/services/safety/police/reporting/Pages/police-tips.aspx
If you have been a victim of a yet unreported voyeurism report this year call 9-1-1 or our station officer at 360-778-8800. Thank you for helping keep out community safe.