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Suspicious cases of creeping, peeping reported in Raleigh neighborhood

Posted January 9, 2012
Updated January 10, 2012

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— 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. 

Police urge caution after suspicious sightings, assaults near NC State Suspicious sightings, assaults near NC State put residents on alert

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.

72 Comments

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  • love2dostuff Jan 10, 2012

    @ brmyspots. I like that idea. Keep shooting them with rubber bullets just to hear them scream. Yeah girl!!

  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Jan 10, 2012

    "On March 19, on the 100 block on Dixie Trial…"
    That should read "Trail"

    Living in this neighborhood, I will keep an eye out. But having the Rose Garden as a neighbor, there are plenty of suspicious characters, and at times, it is difficult to tell who is a bum, a student, or a peeper/creeper.

  • babbleon Jan 10, 2012

    Instead of arming, you could just help the cops catch the guy, and / or improve your living situation.

    1) If you see someone suspicious around your house or neighborhood, call 911.

    2) Do not open the door to strangers - and if they persist, call 911.

    3) Ask your landlord to add motion-detecting lights, or to let you install them, taking the cost out of rent. They're pretty easy to install, usually all you need is a drill. You can get a cheap drill and use it for a lot of other things, like coat hooks, shelves, or chain locks.

    Having lived in that area, the housing varies between decent houses and really bad rentals. There was always something that needed fixing, and pulling out my drill was faster and easier than getting the landlord to do it.

    (and yes, I'm female. It's really not hard to do this, even if you've never held a non-alcoholic screwdriver in your life.)

  • pappybigtuna1 Jan 10, 2012

    so much violence -- why not close the curtains .... unless

  • SisterChristian Jan 10, 2012

    I will never forget in the early 80s 'on CLARK AVENUE' a similar incident happening and the girl was brutally murdered. All I can remember is her first name was Leslie and it was so sad. It's so weird many years later this is happening. Please be safe, be aware of your surroundings and lock you doors and windows. STAY SAFE!

  • brmyspots Jan 10, 2012

    A inexpensive shotgun is less than $150. If you don't like the idea of lethal force then rubber bullet loads are available over the internet for about $3.50 each. That's stop 'em until you get away or you can always continue shooting them. You know....just to hear them scream.

  • babbleon Jan 10, 2012

    a lot of women aren't capable of handling a firearm. Jeremiah

    Well, at least someone can find some humor in this!

    ps: my friend the nurse / gun enthusiast noted that testosterone and adrenaline both make your hands tremble. His comment was that women have an advantage in gun handling, if there is any difference in capability.

  • dmpaltman2 Jan 10, 2012

    Get a shotgun. Don't have to be accurate, you just have to be close.

  • bombadil Jan 10, 2012

    Incidents of peeping, uninvited entry, assualt by touching and theft have been happening in that area of Raleigh since the 1990s; check the incident reports. In my experience, the RPD downplayed the incident and considered it anamolous (not worth further investigation). They did suggest that the neighborhood police itself to make their workload lighter...

  • Corporal Snark Jan 10, 2012

    Jeepers Creepers! Where'd you get those peepers, Clark Avenue?

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