Suspicious cases of creeping, peeping reported in Raleigh neighborhood
Posted January 9, 2012
Updated January 10, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Police say they've received ten reports in the past year of a suspicious person peeping through windows and trying to get into young women's homes in the Clark Avenue area of Raleigh.
In two cases, women reported waking up in the middle of the night to find a strange man in their home, touching them while they slept.
Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said, in many cases, the victims weren't able to provide a suspect description, making it hard to tell whether the cases are related. They could be related, though, and investigators are looking into any possible connection.
"For one year, it's a high number of calls concentrated in that particular area," Sughrue said Monday.
Investigators are working with North Carolina State University police because many of the victims are students and the neighborhood is near campus, Sughrue said.
N.C. State senior Kristin Farren, who has lived in the area for three years, said she has been taking extra safety precautions lately.
"I used to not hesitate about walking back from the library late, but there's no chance I would do that now," she said.
One of Farren's friends was leaving her house a few months ago when she said she saw a man lurking suspiciously near the home.
Farren and her roommates aren't taking any chances.
"I definitely think we are more cautious now, making sure the windows are closed and the curtains, and making sure the doors are locked," she said.
N.C. State graduate Brandon Newton said he saw a suspicious man near his house when he was leaving around 1 a.m. one night.
"I went down the street and took a U-turn and came back to make sure he had cleared out, and I could see him still down the street, still watching me," Newton said. "It's scary. It worries me at night, leaving here, so I take a second look around before I leave to make sure there's nobody creeping around."
Jackie Hayes, another graduate of N.C. State, said she first heard about break-ins and suspicious people back in 2009.
"Students are away on break and people come in and break into their houses," Hayes said. "People are almost looking for unlocked doors here."
Hayes said she is extra careful to lock the door, leave lights on and close and lock windows.
"I just don't always feel like my house is safe at night," she said. "We always have a side light and the back porch light is always on. I always keep a light on in the living room to make sure it looks like somebody's home."
According to police reports, the intrusions have happened when victims were home.
- On Feb. 14, on the 400 block of Brooks Avenue, a 19-year-old woman alerted police that something had been done to make it easier to peep into her home.
- On March 19, on the 100 block on Dixie Trial, a woman reported that someone was tapping on her window. Four days later, a woman reported seeing someone looking through the window at the same address.
- On July 23, a woman told police she saw someone outside the same Dixie Trail home.
- On Aug. 25, on the 2600 block of Vanderbilt Avenue, a man gained access to a home by the victim's roommate, who thought the man knew someone living there, police said. The victim told police that the man touched her in her bed.
- On Aug. 27, on the 100 block of Pogue Street, a woman told police she saw someone walk into her apartment and steal cash. When she screamed, the suspect fled.
- On Sept. 11, on the 2600 block of Vanderbilt Avenue, several people reported seeing a man standing in a bedroom doorway. He fled when they saw him.
- On Sept. 12, on the 2500 block of Clark Avenue, the victim told police she heard someone trying unsuccessfully to get into her home through a locked door.
- On Oct. 16, on the zero block of Bagwell Avenue, a woman reported being inappropriately touched in her sleep. When she woke up, the suspect fled.
- On Dec. 7, on the 2600 block of Clark Avenue, a woman told police she heard tapping, and then heard someone trying to get in the front door to her home. She screamed, scaring the would-be intruder away.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 919-834-HELP. Sughrue urged anyone who sees a suspicious person to call 911.