By Cody Clark
The Bellingham Police Department released a sketch of a suspect in connection with five new voyeurism cases reported since the beginning of September. In a statement released by police on Wednesday, Sept. 26, the suspect was described as a white male, 20-30 years old, usually seen wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
Police said the sketch is based on a description given to them during a recent investigation. The suspect’s description is consistent with descriptions from 2017 cases.
According to the Bellingham Police Department, it is not yet known whether the more recent reports are connected with those from 2017. However, the press release stated that the recent incidents appear to be similar in nature to those described in older reports. In those reports, victims described seeing a suspect peering into windows with a light and, in some instances, masturbating.
The department received at least 15 reports of voyeurism near the York neighborhood and Laurel Park between the months of July and December 2017, according to the press release.
The release also included information on a recent uptick in incidents of voyeurism, with five reported episodes since Sept. 9.
Police reminded community members to take precautions, such as closing and locking all windows, as well as turning on porch lights.
They said voyeurism is historically underreported because witnesses don’t want to bother law enforcement, but believe that the longer a suspect is at-large, the bolder their actions may become. Police urged the public to call 911 immediately if they observe suspicious behavior, but advised against following after the suspect for safety reasons.
“University Police are cooperating with Bellingham Police on these voyeurism cases. Please contact police if you have any information about the suspect in the sketch or any of these crimes,” said University Police Chief Darin Rasmussen.
Anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspect in the sketch is asked by Bellingham Police to contact Detective Sue Howell at (360) 778-8682, or visit the online tip form at the City of Bellingham website.
The University Police anonymous tip line is (360) 650-SAFE (7233).
To view the official press release, please visit here.
*Updated 2:14 p.m., 9/28