Campus, News

BUPD warns students to watch out for ‘peeping Tom’

The Boston University Police Department issued a crime alert for a ‘peeping Tom’ yesterday night, almost a week after two incidents occured in Claflin Hall.

The alert, which was issued to Claflin residents, located at 273 Babcock St. in West Campus, at 6:47 p.m. on Jan. 31, informed students of two separate incidents that occurred in the last week.

The email version of the crime alert stated a female student on the 12th floor reported on Jan. 22 that while showering at 12:30 p.m. she observed “an unknown suspect holding a cell phone up from under the shower stall in their direction.” The victim said the smartphone was a BlackBerry.

The second incident occurred Jan. 25 at 8 a.m. on the 6th floor of Claflin, where the victim stated the perpetrator used an iPhone.

BUPD Sergeant Jefferey Burke said he could not comment on why the alert was issued almost one week after the second incident, but the automated email and phone call was issued to the Claflin residents to alert students in the area.

“That was a decision made by the command staff here,” Burke said.

College of Arts and Sciences freshman Sanya Karimali, who lives on the 12th floor,  said she is appalled by the crimes taking place in her dorm.

“I’m definitely afraid to shower,” Karimali said. “It’s horrible, and I don’t know what kind of person would ever do something like that.”

A female sophomore student living on the 12th floor, who asked to remain anonymous, said she had no concerns about the incident until she received the alert via email and automated message.

“When I got the phone call and email alert . . . and realized that it had happened again, it was pretty alarming,” she said.

Despite knowing a similar crime occurred days after the first incident, the female student says her perception of safety in Claflin has not changed much.

“I still feel pretty safe in the dorm, though I’ll probably be a little more cautious from now on when using the shower,” she said. “I have lots of friends living in this dorm, and I’d hate for it to happen to any of us.”

Burke said while BUPD has not received any tips about the case since the alert was issued, it is possible that people have left messages on BUPD’s answering machine for the tip line.

BUPD told residents who observe suspicious behavior in Claflin Hall to notify them.

Burke said students should remain vigilant about observing their surroundings in dorms, especially around “shower areas.”

“Residents should be very aware that this situation has occurred twice in that building,” Burke said.

The BU Police Detective Division is investigating both incidents, although there are no suspects at this time, according to the alert.

Burke declined to comment on whether the detectives investigating the case have found connections between the two incidents.

Despite the police publicizing their efforts to catch suspects through the crime alert, Karimali said she is not optimistic that someone will be held responsible for the crimes.

“I feel like they’re doing a really good job covering their tracks,” she said. “They don’t have any suspects, so I don’t think that they’ll get caught.”

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