MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police in Minneapolis are on the lookout for someone who has been looking into windows with a video camera.
Three times last week, people living in the Como neighborhood called police to report a peeping incident. The homes are all within a few blocks of one another on 22nd, 24th and 27th Avenues Southeast.
The Como neighborhood is a short bike ride from the University of Minnesota, making it a popular place for students like Michael Canniff to rent homes.
“It’s really weird,” Canniff said.
In each case, the peeping took place through a ground-level window between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Minneapolis Police Inspector Kathy Waite says it’s a disturbing crime.
“It’s everyone’s worst nightmare that someone is peeking through your windows,” Waite said. “People’s fears are very heightened.”
Police say homes with bushes and shrubs close to the windows were targeted.
“It certainly isn’t great for crime prevention, it just provides places for people to hide. It’s nice for not only other area residents, but for officers when we have our lights on to be able to look down between each of the homes,” she said.
Police have emailed Como neighborhood residents and knocked on doors to warn people about the peeping.
Megan Erb lives near one of the homes that was targeted.
“Unfortunately, a lot of single girls maybe aren’t aware of how to keep themselves safe by closing windows and just being more aware,” Erb said. “Maybe that’s what they’re observing, but it’s just something I think that some kids get bored too and they’re just looking for something fun to do.”
In the three peeping incidents, witnesses have reported one or two men with a video camera. Police say it could have happened many more times than was reported.
So far no one’s been arrested.
Police want the public to be aware, and to take these precautions:
1) Go outside after dark and try to look in your windows to see what people can view.
2) Close blinds, shades and curtains at night.
3) Keep windows locked and make sure the outside of your home is well lit.
4) Trim back shrubs and bushes.
5) Be observant of what’s going on outside your home and your neighbors’ homes.