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THURSDAY, SEPT. 6 — A 56-year-old man could soon face a criminal prowling charge after authorities said he was caught “peeping” into local neighborhood windows before he was picked up on unrelated traffic violations.
East Lansing Police Department Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez said his officers arrested a local man last night who they suspected was spying into windows earlier this week around East Lansing’s Bailey Neighborhood. They didn’t catch him in the act, but he was spotted in the same vicinity and matched the description, he said.
“We may have only received one call, but with something like this the individual will often revisit the neighborhood and look into more home windows,” Gonzales added. “We saturated the area with officers and, indeed, that person did come back. The officer was then able to make contact with him and go from there.”
Gonzales said a local resident called this week to file a report about a man, peering at night into the windows of a local home. Investigators were unable to find their suspect until late Wednesday evening. Gonzales said the man will likely face an uncommon “prowling” charge as investigators build their case.
East Lansing ordinances prohibit those who “prowl about any alley or the private premises of any other person in the nighttime, without authority or the permission of the owner of such premises.”
The crime is listed as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of not more than $500, according to local laws.
“They were actually up on private property, looking into the windows,” Gonzales added. “It wasn’t a situation where they were standing up front or on the sidewalk and looking into a house. This was window peeping.”
Gonzales declined to elaborate on the unrelated traffic charges. A press release issued today emphasized detectives are “confident” that the man arrested was the same person responsible for the incident earlier this week.
Detectives are continuing to prepare their case as the suspect awaits a formal arraignment hearing. The man, in the meantime, has since been released from the lockup after posting bond, Gonzales said.
Residents are reminded to keep their windows and doors locked when away from home and during the overnight hours. Outdoor lighting can be an effective measure to deter similar incidents from recurring. Gonzales said those who spot similarly suspicious activities should immediately dial 911.
Visit lansingcitypulse.com for continued coverage as the investigation continues.
— KYLE KAMINSKI