South Bend Police warning residents of sex offender - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Police warning residents of sex offender on southeast side


South Bend Police are warning residents to be on the lookout for a sex offender accosting women on the southeast side of town.

Ten incidents of a man window-peeping and exposing himself to women have been reported since last summer.

The suspect is described as a black man in his late teens or early twenties. He is 5'09" to 6' tall and has a thin build.  Police say he has mostly been seen in the area pictured in the map accompanying this story, but has been seen between Miami St. and Ironwood Dr. and between the River and Ewing Ave.

We spoke to a woman in the area who said she knows firsthand what's been happening in her neighborhood.  "Where I was accosted was right over there, between the two houses," said Hope Vollmer pointing to the side of her house. 

Vollmer said she was walking into her house carrying groceries when a man accosted her.  "This gentleman asked me to do something that wasn't appropriate, never saw the person before and I just yelled 'get out of my yard' and he said something else and I said 'no, get out of my yard now'."

Vollmer said the incident rattled her.  And that wasn't her only scary experience.  "We've also had someone in the backyard looking in the window."

Now she doesn't feel safe being alone in her neighborhood.  "You can't trust anybody right now, it's frightening."

That's why police are asking for your help in catching the suspect.  Captain Phil Trent said, "we take this very seriously because this is what leads up to sexual assaults."

Trent said it could be worse than they know.  "This is the kind of case, especially if he's a window peeper, there could be dozens of cases or more unreported sex offenses so we'd also like to make that plea if you are the victim of one of these sex offenses we'd like to hear from you."

Vollmer wants her neighbors to speak up too.  She's her Neighborhood Watch block captain and she said if anyone see's anything suspicious they should call police.  "We all live here together and we share this space and if we keep an eye out for each other and we know there's a problem we can help solve it."

Anyone who sees a suspicious person matching the suspect's description, spots anyone trespassing on private property, or has any other information on the case should call SBPD at 574-235-9201 or Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP (7867).


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