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U of M police search for 'person of interest' in dorm shower peeping investigation

University of Minnesota Police have received three reports in two weeks late at night of a man trying to film women in dorm showers.

MINNEAPOLIS — University of Minnesota police are asking for the public's help in identifying a "person of interest" as they investigate reports of a person trying to shoot cell phone video of students showering at university residence halls this month.

In a public safety alert, the University said they're looking for man between 25 and 35 years old, standing 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8, seen in surveillance photos wearing a black jacket with yellow and white embroidery on the back, a light blue hat and glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call the University of Minnesota Police Department Investigations Division at 612-624-2677.

The news of a suspected "Peeping Tom" has students anxious while showering.

"I don't close my eyes when I'm washing my soap out – because you never know if someone is around the corner or has their phone out," said U of M student Chloe Staudenmaier, who lives at Frontier Hall.

U of M police have received three reports -- two at Frontier Hall two weeks ago and one at Comstock Hall last week -- of a man walking right into the women's bathroom and trying to film female students while they showered.

"It's very creepy and it's just not acceptable," Staudenmaier said.

"I hope that it stops," said U of M student Megan Kern, who also lives at Frontier.

All instances happened late at night. So far, no one's been arrested.

"It's absolutely horrific to think that someone's looking at you in the res hall," said U of M Police Chief Matt Clark.

Clark said his investigator is pouring over surveillance video and sharing it with other metro police agencies to narrow down potential suspects. 

But some students and parents are upset the video's not shared with them. Clark said they may do that at some point, but at this stage in the investigation it could cause problems.

"If you put out the image, and it's not the right person, that's pretty detrimental," Clark said. "If we want to prosecute that person and we have a pretty good lead, I'd rather follow that lead and try to apprehend that person rather than putting that information out to the general public because that does taint witness and victim testimony."

In the meantime, students are changing their routines in order to feel safe.

"I know a lot of us are showering at the same time now so there is another person in the restroom, just because of the lack of safety honestly in the restrooms. Anyone can come in at any time," Staudenmaier said.