Archive for Friday, September 20, 2002

Father reels in peeping Tom with fishing line

Parent uses ‘pretty ingenious’ method to catch the culprit invading the privacy of his two daughters

September 20, 2002

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— A father who became convinced someone was watching his daughters as they showered at night took matters into his own hands, nabbing the peeping Tom using fishing line.

"It was pretty ingenious, really," Wichita Police Lt. Roy Mitchell said.

The 37-year-old husband and father would only identify himself as Brian because he has two daughters and doesn't want attention drawn to them.

It all started when Brian's wife noticed that a backyard chair kept being moved under a bathroom window overnight.

They didn't think much about it at first, he said. Perhaps the children were fooling around. But soon the couple was convinced someone was watching their girls ages 6 and 15 while they showered.

Brian, a hunter and fisherman, called police and asked if he could set up a bear trap, then watch for someone with a limp.

No, police told him, the person would just sue you.

With trapping out, Brian turned to fishing. Taking a spool of fishing line, he said he tied one end to the leg of the chair. He snaked the fishing line into the house, leaving the spool on the kitchen counter.

About 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, he got a bite. The spool fell off the counter and began unraveling.

"Just like I hooked a fish," Brian said. "He took the bait and ran with it."

Brian grabbed a piece of pipe and quietly slipped outside. Peering around a corner, he watched a man pulling the chair up to the window.

With his 6-year-old daughter in the bathroom at the time, Brian stepped forward and ordered the man to lie down while his wife called police.

The man complied, Brian said, and argued that he was looking for a cat.

Police arrived and took the 31-year-old man, who turned out to live a few houses away, to the Sedgwick County Jail.

Brian admits he's kind of surprised his contraption worked.

"It was just a stupid, little trap," he said. "But we got him."

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