Peeping Tom in town? Hinsdale police chief calls community meeting
HINSDALE, N.H. -- The chief of the local police department has scheduled a special meeting on Thursday night to discuss suspicious activity that has raised concerns that someone might be looking into people's windows around town.
"We are going to have an informational meeting at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria of Hinsdale High School," said Chief Todd Faulkner.
The meetings is in response to reports the police department has received and a Facebook page -- Hinsdale Crime Watch -- that claims to have a description of the suspect.
But Faulkner said that as of Tuesday, his department has received only a handful of reports, and none of those has described the suspected Peeping Tom.
"If you read the Facebook page, there is a lot more information out there than has been reported to us," he said.
Faulkner is concerned that some Hinsdale residents are reacting to information that is not 100 percent accurate. He also expressed concern about some of the posts on the Facebook page, such as "Let me find out, I'll run (him) over," and "There was a person in a hoodie that walk (sic) by our house on main street. That would have been enough time for him to get to that end of town of river road where he decided to creep my son out."
Faulkner said the Thursday night meeting will also be a chance for his department to explain what has been reported to it and how his officers have responded to the reports. He also hopes that if people have information they have yet to share with police, they will do so at the meeting.
Faulkner is urging people to remain calm and to call the police department if they see anything suspicious.
"Rapid reporting is very important," he said. "Whether it's a 911 call or a call to 603-336-7766, report any suspicious activity and we will respond as timely as we can. I would rather people call us and report immediately, rather them trying to interact with a suspect and taking the law into their own hands. That's not the way to handle it. This is a law enforcement matter. If somebody you don't know is in your backyard, 911 is the appropriate response, not going outside to engage with the person."
Faulkner said he also hopes to discuss the possibility of establishing a community watch program in Hinsdale.
"I am more than happy to engage that conversation, but we need to do it right. Hopefully I will be able to explain to them the proper procedures on how we can set up a watch program."
Another town resident has created a map that claims to track Peeping Tom incidents around Hinsdale. Faulkner said he found the map to be a little bit unusual, in that it has listed about twice as many locations as the police department has received reports about.
Included on the Hinsdale Crime Watch Facebook page is a July 20 post that claims the police shot a "rabbid" fox near Cottage Street with a stun gun.
But Faulkner said, none of his officers have reported using a stun gun recently for any reason, never mind on a rabid fox. He said the first and last time that happened was about 10 years ago.
Bob Audette can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 802-254-2311, ext. 160. Follow Bob on Twitter @audette.reformer.
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