MOUNT CARMEL — Mount Carmel police say an alleged Peeping Tom was arrested early Tuesday morning.
Mount Carmel Police Department Officer Bobby Moffitt apprehended Michael Blake Dobbs, 18, 113 Pine Crest Road, Church Hill, following a foot chase.
Based on information provided by a witness, police suspect that Dobbs had been prowling around Mount Carmel’s Sunrise Meadows neighborhood the two previous nights.
A resident told police he’d waited for the prowler to return a third time overnight Monday and spotted the suspect early Tuesday morning park a gold Honda near a sewer department pump station.
Shortly before 3 a.m. Tuesday, Moffitt was dispatched to the prowler complaint. The resident was on the phone with Central Dispatch as Moffitt approached the neighborhood, and a dispatcher was relaying the suspect’s movements as told by the resident.
“He (Dobbs) was going house to house up through there, looking into cars,” Moffitt told the Times-News on Wednesday. “The complainant said he had gone to his neighbor’s house and looked through cars there, and then went across the street and stopped at a window.”
At that point the resident lost sight of the suspect, but that’s when Moffitt was arriving on the scene.
“When I arrived the guy took off running and I was able to catch him at his car,” Moffitt said.
There was dew on the ground that morning, and Moffitt said he could see Dobbs’ footsteps, which he traced back to two windows at a nearby residence on Sunrise Meadows Court.
Beneath one window belonging to the room of a female juvenile, three concrete blocks had been stacked on top of each other and there were pry marks on the sill, Moffitt said.
Another window belonging to an adult female’s room had actually been raised 10 to 12 inches, and the curtains pulled outside. The victims said the windows had been shut but weren’t locked.
Dobbs reportedly knew the juvenile female from school, although they aren’t friends, Moffitt said.
Initially Dobbs told the officer he was looking for someone to let him use their phone.
“I asked him if he was doing something sexual to himself at that window,” Moffitt said. “He looked at me and he said, ‘You got me. You figured me out.’ I think I interrupted him.”
Moffitt added, “Mr. Dobbs stated that he did look into the vehicles, and he did stop at the house and was looking in the window where the lady was at. He had been in the area the two previous nights based on his own admission.”
From that residence the footsteps in the dew allegedly led to several vehicles along the block. The dew on the vehicles had also been disturbed where someone apparently touched them attempting to open the doors.
Dobbs was charged with auto burglary, five counts of attempted auto burglary, aggravated burglary, attempted burglary and observation without consent, which is the Peeping Tom law.
Dobbs was additionally charged with possession of burglary tools as a result of a search of his vehicle, and possession of drug paraphernalia for a marijuana pipe allegedly found in his car. His vehicle, a 1995 Honda Accord, was seized.