Bellingham, WA – The Bellingham Police Department is investigating twenty-four incidents of voyeurism that have been reported to police in the last year in Bellingham.
The suspect sketch below was developed from a description given by a witness to a Sketch Artist from one of the most recent incidents. The suspect is described as a white male, 20-30 years old, slender build, dark hair, and many times wearing a hooded sweatshirt.
In a press release from Claudia Murphy, Public Information Officer for the City of Bellingham Police Department, between July and December of 2017, Bellingham Police received at least fifteen (15) reports of voyeurism all centered around an eight square block area near the York neighborhood and Laurel Park, both which are a short distance from Western Washington University. There were four (4) additional cases reported in the early month of 2018 and an additional five (5) incidents reported since September 9th, 2018. All the reports appear to be similar in nature to the 2017 cases.
In most cases, the suspect has been caught peering into windows while holding a flashlight or cell phone up. Several of the victims reported the suspected exposed his genitals to them and said he was masturbating.
Bellingham Police want to remind residents to call 9-1-1 when they become aware of a stranger looking into the window of their home. Officers do not recommend going outside to yell at or approach the suspect. Instead they request residents call 9-1-1 and, if it can be done in a safe manner from inside the home, watch which way the suspect runs.
Officers say this type of crime has historically been underreported for a variety of reasons, including not wanting to bother law enforcement, or being unsure of what just happened. However, voyeurism is a serious crime and has the potential for the suspect to get more and more daring, increasing the danger level for future victims. The sooner the crime is reported the better chance Officers have of catching the suspect.
Bellingham Police Offered the following tips for residents to safeguard their homes from a voyeur.
- Close and lock all windows
- Close Curtains or blinds (tilt the angle on the blinds to not allow a view from outside to the inside.)
- Turn off inside lights
- turn on porch lights
If you have information regarding the identity of the suspect in the sketch, you are asked to call Detective Howell at (360) 778-8682 of visit the Bellingham Police Department online tip form by clicking here.
If you have been the victim of a yet unreported voyeurism incident this year, you are asked to call 9-1-1 or the Bellingham Police Department at (360) 778-8800.