Crime

Another incident of lewd conduct reported near WWU

McClatchy

Police are investigating a weekend incident of lewd conduct that could be related to recent reports of voyeurism in neighborhoods surrounding Western Washington University.

An indecent exposure was reported at 10:41 p.m. Saturday in the 1200 block of North Garden Street, near Chestnut Street, according to the online police activity log. It was at least the ninth such incident this year.

“Detectives will certainly be looking for any similarities between all the cases,” said Bellingham Police Lt. Danette Beckley.

A Monday morning arrest for voyeurism, indecent liberties and cyberstalking wasn’t related to the other cases, Beckley said.

A recording taken from Whatcom County law enforcement radio traffic and posted on Facebook at the Whatcom Scanner Report site said the suspect was masturbating on the back porch of 1214 N. Garden St. He was wearing a dark puffy jacket with a hood, according to a description broadcast to responding police units.

Beckley said police are not certain if Saturday night’s incident was connected to a similar incident Friday morning on Gladstone Street or others in the York and Sehome neighborhoods surrounding WWU. Police are not prepared to offer further details because the investigation is open and active, she said.

“Please be aware of people around your residence, especially if you have multiple roommates living in a house,” Beckley said. “Close your blinds. If you have seen something, call 911 first to give us the best response (and) stay inside until we contact you.”

Police have increased patrols in neighborhoods surrounding the university.

Tips can be sent to police Detective Sue Howell at 360-778-8682; anonymously at 360-778-8611, or online, cob.org/tips.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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