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Video: Peeping Tom caught on camera, runs from cops, arrested in swamp

Police car lights. (Dan Scanlan/Florida Times-Union/TNS)
February 14, 2023

Steven Johnson, 29, is facing charges of loitering, resisting arrest, stalking and prowling in Volusia County, FL, after local police increased patrols in response to home surveillance video that captured a man peeping into windows late at night.

Brooke Sotolongo, who lives in the home, expressed her confusion and distress to CBS News.

“We were like, that is crazy,” she said. “And that is why we were like, ‘Where did he come from? Like, what’s going on?’ It was very weird.”

Both Sotolongo and Johnson live in the Rivington subdivision in DeBary. An observant neighbor noticed Johnson peeping through residential windows and alerted the neighborhood group chat to the footage, after which individuals made reports to the Sheriff’s Office.

In police body cam video, the arresting sergeant informs Johnson he is the reason for increased police presence in the area.

“That’s why we’re here,” the Sergeant said. “That’s why there’s a K-9 here and why the helicopter was here. That’s why there’s about 15 or 20 deputies that were here. There’s a reason for that.”

Johnson reportedly admitted to knowing why he was being sought by police, stating that he has an “uncontrollable urge” to peep into windows.

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The increase use of doorbell cameras has been a new tool for law enforcement in neighborhood crimes, with Winnebago County in Illinois devoting $40,000 of American Rescue Plan funds to outfit residences with home security cameras in 2022. Similar programs have been initiated in Elmira, New York and Battle Creek, Michigan. 

Ring, a popular home camera service, launched the public safety app Neighbors, which allows residents to contact law enforcement with real-time reports of suspicious activity.

Currently, over 2,000 police agencies and fire departments partner with Ring and Google, in some cases allowing the surveillance services to share footage with law enforcement without the homeowner’s consent if a crime or other emergency is suspected.