SLO law enforcement officials are still trying to find out just who is behind a rash of disturbing prowling incidents that have occurred in the city over the last several months.
Thus far, the department has not publicly identified or arrested any suspects related to multiple prowling and peeping incidents, which have occurred in various areas of the city, with several being reported in northern SLO where many college students live.
"We are not 100 percent sure if [the incidents] are all related or not," SLO police Lt. John Bledsoe said.
According to information released by the department to local media outlets, there have been at least seven prowling incidents reported in the city between late January and early September of this year. In at least five of those incidents, the unidentified suspect appeared to exhibit disturbing behavior. In instances reported in February, March, and May of this year, the suspect was reportedly seen holding a cellphone and shining a flashlight into the windows of unnamed female victims.
"In a few instances, the suspect has been reported to have reached in a window and touched victims while sleeping," a Sept. 7 news release from the department stated.
According to the release, the suspect has been described as a white or Hispanic male. The remaining prowling incidents appeared to be connected to nearby thefts. Bledsoe said the department was still trying to determine if the peeping incidents involved a single suspect or multiple suspects.
Speaking to New Times, Bledsoe indicated the investigation remained open, and noted that trying to find the suspect or suspects in such cases was challenging.
"We have only a handful of officers who work at night," he said. "We are relying on the public's help and for them to call us when they see something of a suspicious nature."
While the investigation continues, SLO police have been advising residents to keep windows, curtains and blinds closed at night. Anyone who is a victim or witness of a prowling incident should contact the SLO Police Department. Δ