An alleged “Peeping Tom” who was lurking in people’s backyards in Needham at night might have crossed the line into the town of Dover.
Dover police Chief Peter A. McGowan said his department is investigating two incidents in which an individual was hanging around homes at night.
“We have to assume they are related,” McGowan said. “It’s an unusual type of call.”
McGowan said in each incident there was no indication of the suspect trying to get into the house. “That’s why it’s such an odd set of circumstances,” he said.
The first incident was reported around 10 p.m. Feb. 1, when a homeowner went out to dinner and came home and found footprints in the snow near the windows of his house. Then a second incident was reported in Dover last weekendat midnight when a resident saw a shadow of a person in their backyard, and the individual then took off.
Both incidents took place within a mile or so of the Needham town line, McGowan said.
The Dover Police Department is urging residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity around their homes.
“Homeowners have reported seeing a man lurking in their back or side yard,” the department wrote on Facebook. “When this ‘peeping tom’ has been seen, he flees the area immediately upon being discovered. Needham and Dover PDs are combining efforts, and encourage residents to call 911 if they see anything suspicious. Residents are also encouraged to keep their shades drawn at night, and to leave external lights on.”
In January, Needham police announced that it was investigating reports of “peeping Tom like activity” in the area of Central Avenue near the Dover town line.
Needham police Chief John Schlittler said there have been four of these incidents reported in his town, with the earliest dating back to November. “We’re looking for the public’s help in identifying this party,” Schlittler said. “We don’t know the motive. It is concerning to us.”
The latest such incident in Needham was reported Feb. 3 around 8:30 p.m., when a person was seen looking into the windows of a home on Oxbow Road. A search of the area was conducted with the assistance of a State Police K-9, but no one was found. The incident is under investigation, according to a post on the Needham Police Department’s Facebook page.
Police posted a surveillance camera image of the suspect on Facebook and described him as a white or light-skinned male with a thin build who appears to be in his late teens or early twenties.
Schlittler said if any residents see someone prowling around their yard, contact police immediately. “Do not confront him,” Schlittler said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Needham Police Department at 781-455-7570, extension 3.Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.