Tisbury police seek public’s help to nab ‘peeping Tom’


Tisbury police released a composite sketch Monday of a person they said has been looking in windows at night. Police said there had been six reported incidents, and they advised residents to take precautions against the “peeping Tom.”

“He has been seen crouching in yards, peering in windows, and running from the scene once discovered,” Sgt. Rodney Silvia said. The suspect did not enter any of the houses.

“The area we believe he is working is between Pine Tree Road near Oak Grove Cemetery as far up as Boxberry Avenue,” Sergeant Silvia told The Times in a meeting at the police station Monday. “We believe he lives in the area.”

“He has consistently worn a white baseball cap backwards,” Sgt. Silvia said. “Victims described him as being dark or olive-skinned, 20 to 25 years old, with a medium build. He has big, round, dark brown eyes.”

“We’re asking the public’s help,” Sgt. Silvia added. “If they have any information about this guy, whether they recognize the composite sketch as someone they know or have seen around, we’d like to know.”

Sgt. Silvia advised residents to keep shades down at night and turn outdoor lighting on, as the peeping incidents have occurred in unlit areas, generally between the hours of 10 pm and 1 am.

“If it looks like someone is hiding or crouching down on someone’s property, or if there is any suspicious activity like that, we’d like to know,” he said.

Tisbury police responded to calls from women or their boyfriends or husbands who spotted a man they described similarly looking in a window from outside their homes, Sgt. Silvia said.

The first incident occurred at a Tashmoo Avenue residence at 9:52 pm on September 22. Sgt. Silvia said the victim got a good look at the peeping Tom suspect and helped Tisbury police create a composite sketch.

Other incidents occurred at Greenwood Avenue, September 23, 10:52 pm; Norton Avenue, September 24, 1 am; and Pine Tree Road, October 22, reported at 3:35 am. The two most recent incidents took place at the same residence on West William Street, at 10 pm on October 21 and 10:30 pm on October 22.

The peeping Tom suspect managed to escape on two occasions when pursued on foot, once by multiple police officers and once by a civilian. Although he eluded capture, Sgt. Silvia said police seized a yellow woman’s bicycle the suspect had been riding and left behind at one of the residences. The bike had not been reported stolen, however, and its owner has not been found.

Sgt. Silvia said the Tisbury peeping Tom incidents are not related to a case in Oak Bluffs, for which a man involved in peeping behavior and also assaults on women was arrested and charged in mid-September.

Sgt. Silvia asked residents to call police at 508-696-4240 and talk to the officer in charge, if they hear or see any suspicious activity. He said callers may remain anonymous if they wish.