Cat helps to catch suspected peeping tom

Grey Lynn's suspected tech-savvy peeping tom, who was reaching through open windows to film people on hot and sticky nights, was caught overnight, police confirmed this afternoon.

And it appears a hero cat may have played a part.

Detective Senior Sergeant Marcia Murray said Avondale police arrested and charged a man "in relation to an incident in Grey Lynn around 2.30am this morning, where a person was reported to be peering through the window of a house".

Ms Murray said inquiries were continuing into other incidents in Grey Lynn, where an offender was reported to be taking images of occupants on his cellphone, through windows.

According to a Facebook post on a Greg Lynn group's page, a woman outside having a cigarette was alerted to the man, who was trying to look through her blinds while holding a cellphone, when she saw her cat Skinny run past from a neighbouring driveway on Sackville St.

The cat was looking in the direction of owner Carly Marr's driveway and she followed its gaze. Peering around the corner, she saw the man.

"I yelled at him while following him and got the police on the phone, they were there in an instant with their sniffer dog and caught him," Ms Marr wrote.

"Lucky because I had my window open and my blinds shut and was about to go to bed."

In March, the Herald revealed a peeping Tom was taking advantage of Auckland's weather to reach through open windows and film people.

The man was understood to have images or film of several people on his cellphone, which he lost in a scuffle with a rattled victim.

Police were also called to a house in Grey Lynn one night last week after a resident reported a man using a cellphone to film occupants through a window.

The offender fled after a police dog and handler couldn't track him.

The Herald reported that on February 25 a Grey Lynn woman saw a forearm hanging through her open window. The man was holding a cellphone and filming her.

The woman ran over and hit the man's arm to make him go away. The cellphone dropped to the floor and was later handed to police, who found images of several people on the phone.

The woman had left her window ajar to try to get cooler air circulating during Auckland's nightly heatwave.

Police were aware of similar incidents in the same week and are still advising people to be vigilant when it comes to home security, and to use locks on their windows at night.

University of Canterbury criminologist Professor Greg Newbold said earlier this year incidents such as this were likely to happen because of the prevalence of cellphones.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice show 128 people were convicted of offences relating to intimate visual recordings in the five years to 2014.

 

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