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We have a Peeping Tom

fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell#BLMRegistered User regular
edited November 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
i'm a guy and i live with a female roommate. sometimes it's pretty awesome (girls are much less messy than guys in a living situation, it's science), but sometimes, well, you get odd situations.

we have a neighbor who lives in a small apartment building across the street. he's probably in his early thirties, and appears to not have a job. i say this because almost every day he's at his apartment window, laptop AND tv at the ready, checking out the street and our apartment which is directly across.

now normally this guy is harmless, he just seems overly interested in the comings and goings of our neighborhood. considering he's got no exciting job in his life i don't blame him. but today i come home and my roommate tells me that the guy has been checking out our apartment with binoculars. as in she saw him looking directly into our windows with a pair of optical-enhancing-so-i-can-be-creepy spectacles. my immediate reaction is "ew". my second and gut reaction is to call non-emergency police and lodge a complaint.

now normally i'm not one to request anything of the police, for a lot of reasons. i also know that the police represent a level of "seriousness" that i'm not sure the situation warrants just yet. so i'm wondering, is calling the police an appropriate thing to do here? should i ask my landlord if there's anything he can do? is directly asking the guy to stop doing what he's doing prudent? i'm worried about my roommate because we might have a potential stalker who could do something worse at night. i'm personally creeped out, partly because he could be casing our apartment for our stuff.

help and advice, you're my only hope!

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    Dread Pirate ArbuthnotDread Pirate Arbuthnot OMG WRIGGLY T O X O P L A S M O S I SRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    There's nothing wrong with calling the police in this situation. If it's not a serious situation, they will check it out. It's not like he'll be brought down to the station or anything. Plus if things get more serious, you have documentation to back up your case.

    Dread Pirate Arbuthnot on
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    JaninJanin Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Ring him up, ask him politely to stop. If he persists, call the police.

    EDIT: also ask the police to make a note that you did this, for documentation purposes.

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    trixtahtrixtah Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    stare back at him with a pair of your own binoculars or when he's looking, put up a sign that says "cut that out!"

    trixtah on
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    DeVryGuyDeVryGuy Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Hire a fat guy to do jumping jacks naked next to your window.

    But seriously: File a complaint with his land lord and the police. If you can get some evidence that would be the best, but that might be hard to do depending on how far away he is.

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    fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    he's literally right across the street. and it's a small street.






    so i'm thinking i or my roommate try to snap some photos while the guy is doing this, and then call the police and/or landlord?

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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Put up a sign, "If you can read this, you're a pervert with binoculars, and we're calling the police." Then give it a day or two.

    There are all kinds of weird laws concerning what's a peeping tom and what isn't. Just because someone looks in your window doesn't mean they've broken any law, even if they're using binoculars. And, in fact, if you're nude and visible from the street, you're actually breaking laws covering indecent exposure. So depending on where you live, there might not be much the police can do about it.

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    drxand?drxand? Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    the police should only be last resort, they're idiots for 1 and for two they can be assholes regardless of the situation. so i would say firstly talk to the guy, if he doesnt fare well then move to the next step.

    drxand? on
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    fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    drxand? wrote:
    the police should only be last resort, they're idiots for 1 and for two they can be assholes regardless of the situation. so i would say firstly talk to the guy, if he doesnt fare well then move to the next step.

    good point. as much as watching repeated tasering of a guy can be amusing...

    but i'm not so sure on the direct approach part. i don't even know where to start...

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    ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    drxand? wrote:
    the police should only be last resort, they're idiots for 1 and for two they can be assholes regardless of the situation. so i would say firstly talk to the guy, if he doesnt fare well then move to the next step.

    Yeah, this is possibly the worst thing you can do....

    If the shit hits the fan, all that will matter is the legal steps you took. File a complaint, make sure it is all documented, because if this gets worse and something drastic happens, you will be screwed otherwise.


    And please, don't group all police under one stereotype because of what T.V. told you. Nevermind the fact that someone who can not be bothered to spell out one should not be criticizing the intelligence of others.

    Comahawk on
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    Lucky CynicLucky Cynic Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I'd Put up a sticky note saying "Peek-a-Boo!" No really, I would call him up, and tell him to get a life/girlfriend. Preferrably in that order. If he doesn't knock it off, get a picture of him and bring it up with either the cops or landlord or whomever. It actually wouldnt hurt to try and get a picture right now just to prove that he actually *was* spying on your roomie.

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    ZeonZeon Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Go over to his house, tell him you know hes been looking into your window, and if it happens again youll call the police. And get some blinds for that window.

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    LardalishLardalish Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Is it just me or does this whole "take pictures of him looking at you" seem counter-productive? It sounds like it would only hurt your case. Id say file a complaint and ask what you're allowed to legally do to get him to stop.

    Lardalish on
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    The people who do this either do it because they think that no one can see them, or they do it because they want people to see them. So put up the sign (I like "cut that out") and if he stops, then he's the former type. If he doesn't, he's the latter type, and you need to call the cops.

    Seattle Thread on
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    piLpiL Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    People are saying "call the cops" without even attempting to take matters into their own hands. Maybe your roomate is exaggerating some situation (he's watching something else like a tree in your yard), or perhaps it was an isolated incident (he thought he saw someone hanging from your rafters and was like, "uh shit, wtf" and looked).

    I doubt either of these things, but I beleive you understand my point. You've had no first-hand knowledge of the situation, and immediately you wish to call the cops. Ultimately if cops are brought into it, your roomate will have to talk to the cops herself anyway (my roommate who doesn't want to talk to you said she saw someone looking in and I am lodging a complaint doesn't seem like it would fly). If she feels like police need to be called and she feels like talking to them, then sure, otherwise sign first.

    piL on
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    fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    piL wrote:
    People are saying "call the cops" without even attempting to take matters into their own hands. Maybe your roomate is exaggerating some situation (he's watching something else like a tree in your yard), or perhaps it was an isolated incident (he thought he saw someone hanging from your rafters and was like, "uh shit, wtf" and looked).

    I doubt either of these things, but I beleive you understand my point. You've had no first-hand knowledge of the situation, and immediately you wish to call the cops. Ultimately if cops are brought into it, your roomate will have to talk to the cops herself anyway (my roommate who doesn't want to talk to you said she saw someone looking in and I am lodging a complaint doesn't seem like it would fly). If she feels like police need to be called and she feels like talking to them, then sure, otherwise sign first.

    like i said, the distance between this guy's apartment and mine is very small. think the width of a small side street. i also trust my roommate to be able to tell the distinction between someone looking around with binoculars and someone looking directly into our windows at people inside our house. a common friend was over at the time, and that person also saw binoculars-man.

    we've decided on not calling the cops just yet, but if either i or my roommate see this guy doing it again, we're taking pics and talking with the landlord. the roommate wants to talk to the guy, but i personally feel that binoculars already crosses a line...

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    piLpiL Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    piL wrote:
    People are saying "call the cops" without even attempting to take matters into their own hands. Maybe your roomate is exaggerating some situation (he's watching something else like a tree in your yard), or perhaps it was an isolated incident (he thought he saw someone hanging from your rafters and was like, "uh shit, wtf" and looked).

    I doubt either of these things, but I beleive you understand my point. You've had no first-hand knowledge of the situation, and immediately you wish to call the cops. Ultimately if cops are brought into it, your roomate will have to talk to the cops herself anyway (my roommate who doesn't want to talk to you said she saw someone looking in and I am lodging a complaint doesn't seem like it would fly). If she feels like police need to be called and she feels like talking to them, then sure, otherwise sign first.

    like i said, the distance between this guy's apartment and mine is very small. think the width of a small side street. i also trust my roommate to be able to tell the distinction between someone looking around with binoculars and someone looking directly into our windows at people inside our house. a common friend was over at the time, and that person also saw binoculars-man.

    we've decided on not calling the cops just yet, but if either i or my roommate see this guy doing it again, we're taking pics and talking with the landlord. the roommate wants to talk to the guy, but i personally feel that binoculars already crosses a line...

    I guess I wasn't understanding the extent of the street. Sounds good to me.

    piL on
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    amarygmaamarygma Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Draw the blinds.

    You can get window tinting that allows you to see out but others not to see in- you could mount it on something so that it's not permanent (since you rent). Or you could just get some translucent for daytime and opaque for nighttime shades.

    The tint would allow you to observe if he's still trying to watch.

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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    amarygma wrote:
    Draw the blinds.

    Seriously. Why would you call the police when the solution is so simple?

    ege02 on
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    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    ege02 wrote:
    amarygma wrote:
    Draw the blinds.

    Seriously. Why would you call the police when the solution is so simple?
    Mainly because one shouldn't have to adjust their lives to compensate for the person who is disrupting it.

    Seattle Thread on
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    fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Makershot wrote:
    ege02 wrote:
    amarygma wrote:
    Draw the blinds.

    Seriously. Why would you call the police when the solution is so simple?
    Mainly because one shouldn't have to adjust their lives to compensate for the person who is disrupting it.

    plus we like sunlight? i mean, your star burns and we require frozen treats all the time, but its indirect radiation in the visible light spectrum is still beneficial to our happiness.

    in the end, it's the fact that the guy is doing this in the first place that's troublesome.

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    I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell UpI'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Makershot wrote:
    ege02 wrote:
    amarygma wrote:
    Draw the blinds.

    Seriously. Why would you call the police when the solution is so simple?
    Mainly because one shouldn't have to adjust their lives to compensate for the person who is disrupting it.

    plus we like sunlight? i mean, your star burns and we require frozen treats all the time, but its indirect radiation in the visible light spectrum is still beneficial to our happiness.

    in the end, it's the fact that the guy is doing this in the first place that's troublesome.

    you can draw the blinds so nothing can see in but you can still light from the sun.

    not really troublesome.

    I do it just because it looks cool at night

    I'd Fuck Chuck Lidell Up on
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    Makershot wrote:
    ege02 wrote:
    amarygma wrote:
    Draw the blinds.

    Seriously. Why would you call the police when the solution is so simple?
    Mainly because one shouldn't have to adjust their lives to compensate for the person who is disrupting it.

    I guess for me a guy looking at my apartment with binoculars is too small of a deal and calling the police is too big of a hassle.

    ege02 on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    ege02 wrote:
    Makershot wrote:
    ege02 wrote:
    amarygma wrote:
    Draw the blinds.

    Seriously. Why would you call the police when the solution is so simple?
    Mainly because one shouldn't have to adjust their lives to compensate for the person who is disrupting it.

    I guess for me a guy looking at my apartment with binoculars is too small of a deal and calling the police is too big of a hassle.

    I agree. The whole point of blinds and curtains is for privacy. Sure, tell the police that some guy is looking through your windows - if it does get worse then at least you've made the first contact - but don't expect them to not reply 'Get some blinds'. It's a basic security measure, like locking your door when you go to work. It not only protects your shame from the great wide world but it also makes it more difficult for buglers to case your property and see if there's anything worth nicking in it.

    I'm not advocating this guy peering through your windows, but it's a little bit silly getting all outraged about it when you quite literally give him an open window to indulge himself.

    I mean, our front living room looks out onto a bus route. In the evening, commuters taking the bus home from work can see us slouched on the couch watching TV from the top deck of the bus. So what do we do? Do we call the council and demand that the bus route be changed and start a protest against double decker buses? No. We close the curtains when evening draws in.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    blue powderblue powder Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    It's redundant to keep telling him that he should get blinds, it's already been suggested, and the bus situation is passive, where as this guy is intentionally violating provacy. To emphasize this he's even using aide of fucking equipment.

    Essentally he's puting in a bit more effort than someone getting off a bus and turning their head for several seconds.

    blue powder on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    It's redundant to keep telling him that he should get blinds, it's already been suggested, and the bus situation is passive, where as this guy is intentionally violating provacy. To emphasize this he's even using aide of fucking equipment.

    Essentally he's puting in a bit more effort than someone getting off a bus and turning their head for several seconds.

    Good advice can't be repeated often enough. Especially when the receiver refuses to follow it. No matter how awesome this guys binoculars are, I doubt they can penetrate a blind.

    If you have privacy laws where you live, by all means enforce them. Either way, you can make this go away by simply not giving the guy an opportunity.


    What I am wondering is, does the guy look at your room mate through his binoculars even when she's fully clothed and just going about her daily routine? I mean, what's he actually looking at? Is he just a nosey bastard or is he a hardcore pervert?

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    CasketCasket __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2006
    window tint

    Casket on
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    fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Is he just a nosey bastard or is he a hardcore pervert?

    this is the question. my roommate has told me that this guy has in the past made her feel creeped out. he hangs out at his window and watches her. this, and the fact that possibly knows the interior layout of my apartment (i.e. where our shit is) is a bit unnerving. enough to justify a call to the police? maybe not. enough for me to want to do something. hells yeah.

    i'm just trying to figure out what that is; blinds are only a start.

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    drxand?drxand? Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Comahawk wrote:
    drxand? wrote:
    the police should only be last resort, they're idiots for 1 and for two they can be assholes regardless of the situation. so i would say firstly talk to the guy, if he doesnt fare well then move to the next step.

    Yeah, this is possibly the worst thing you can do....

    If the shit hits the fan, all that will matter is the legal steps you took. File a complaint, make sure it is all documented, because if this gets worse and something drastic happens, you will be screwed otherwise.


    And please, don't group all police under one stereotype because of what T.V. told you. Nevermind the fact that someone who can not be bothered to spell out one should not be criticizing the intelligence of others.

    excuse me? i'm not one to classify ALL police, theres usually a good cop in every 25-50, but the rest are there because they like authority over others.
    I don't watch television, and from what i've seen on the tv regarding police makes them look good and honest compaired to what i've seen them do in the streets, as well as what they've done to me.

    i was drunk when i wrote that, so excuse me for simplifying the numeral one.

    i'd say to rephrase my statement, talk to the landlord of his place if direct confrontation is unacceptable.

    in a situation like this, the police would most likely be sympathatic to you, but then be jerks/assholes to the guy in question, so if you really want to bring down that amount of force over this, then by all means.

    drxand? on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2006
    Is he just a nosey bastard or is he a hardcore pervert?

    this is the question. my roommate has told me that this guy has in the past made her feel creeped out. he hangs out at his window and watches her. this, and the fact that possibly knows the interior layout of my apartment (i.e. where our shit is) is a bit unnerving. enough to justify a call to the police? maybe not. enough for me to want to do something. hells yeah.

    i'm just trying to figure out what that is; blinds are only a start.

    Well calling the police wouldn't hurt. Tell them that the guy is either casing your apartment or perving on your room mate. I don't know if they can do much with that information, but at least it gives them a heads up. He could be a registered sex offender or an ex-housebreaker on parole for all you know, so calling the police now could prevent anything unsavoury happening later. On the other hand, he could just be a cheap perv, which they might be able to do something about depending on your local laws but they'll know better than anybody else.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    2and2is52and2is5 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    If you do end up calling the police (or filing a complaint, etc), have you thought about talking to your neighbors? Maybe they've seen this guy too. It might make your claim stick if you have the whole side of the building complaining about this guy.

    2and2is5 on
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    cmsamocmsamo Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    You never know. You might call the cops and find out that he is an undercover officer. Some female friends of mine moved into a place and they thought they were getting stalked by a guy across the street. Turned out they'd moved in next to a drugs-den that was under surveillance 24/7

    Do you live in a dodgy neighbourhood?

    cmsamo on
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