DELMAR, Md./Del.- Imagine catching a stranger peering right into your home. It is an unnerving thought, but that is the reality for dozens of people in one Sussex County neighborhood. This "peeping Tom" started out on the Delaware side of the outskirts of Delmar, but apparently is now expanding his territory.
He is known as the "Pepperbox Peeper," because he was first spotted on Pepperbox Road at least four years ago. But sightings have now been reported on the Maryland side of Delmar. Residents we spoke with are hoping he is caught, and soon.
India Elliot said the "Pepperbox Peeper" first showed up in her Delmar, Del., neighborhood a few years ago.
"One day, this man just started coming to our houses after dark and watching us," Elliot explained. "Just standing there. He started out in my parents' barn one night and my father came out to let the dogs out and he was just standing there in our barn looking at my father like he belonged there."
The sightings have continued in the years since, and this "peeping Tom" keeps getting away with it.
"Where we're located, it takes a very long time for the Delaware State Police to come down here," noted Elliot. "We live directly on the state line. It's a quarter of a mile away and by the time they get here, he's always been gone. They've had helicopters and dogs and everything else and by the time they get here, he's always managed to escape."
And it seems whoever is doing this is now moving into the Maryland side. Residents of Rum Ridge and Melson Road tell WBOC they have heard reports of this "Pepperbox Peeper" lurking in their neighborhood.
That is something Catherine Lacurts finds disturbing.
"I wonder sometimes if I'm safe, or if we're safe but you just have to take it one day at a time," she said.
People like Elliot note they are uncomfortable knowing the "Pepperbox Peeper" is still out there.
"He's done some vandalism, he's never actually hurt anyone but the fact that he's doing this, I mean, that's not a mentally healthy person," said Elliot. "You really don't know what he might actually do."
Police say if you happen to see a "peeping Tom," the best thing to do is keep your distance and call 911.
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