Nieuws - 22 december 2011

Students catch peeping Tom in the act

Residents of the Haarweg student complex caught a peeping Tom and handed him over to the police yesterday. The man (middle-aged fatherly type) spent the night under police custody.

Luck ran out yesterday for the peeping Tom, who was again spotted on different occasions this week. Resident Tim (7 th year Biology) related how he saw a shadow move across his window. 'I looked outside cautiously and saw him walk towards another window and then squat to look inside.' He called the police, but knowing that it would be a long wait before the police arrived, he and a friend decided to take matters into their own hands.
The two students ran towards the man, who initially remained standing where he was. Tim: 'He was between forty and fifty years old and wore a jogging suit. In fact, he looked very normal, like someone who could have a wife and children. His first words were that he was not trying to break in. But we knew that already.' In the meantime, more residents had gathered around the man.
Suddenly, the man took to his heels. 'Naturally, we ran after him immediately. One of my friends, a sturdy guy, caught up with him and held him firmly against a fence.' There he was when the police arrived. In the meantime, tens of occupants had gathered around the man. 'Many remembered seeing him hanging around the building earlier,' adds Tim. The police took the man into custody and detained him for one night in the police station.

Tim is aware that there is only a small chance that the man would be charged. 'The police has notified us that it is very difficult to get the needed evidence in such situations. There must be a witness who has been peeped at and who can recognize him as the culprit. But that'll be difficult, of course. The windows are reflective and a peeping Tom usually looks through a small opening.' The man in this case had been detained for not possessing an identification document.
The occupants do hope, however, that the arrest will frighten him and any other peeping Toms away. 'It is after all not pleasant to be confronted for such a sorry act, and to be surrounded by tens of witnesses. The man also had to explain to those at home why he had to spend a night in the police station. Tim: 'I would have liked to be there during the explanation.'