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Peeping Tom: Practicing pervert or potential burglar?

A Federal Way woman said she may buy a shotgun after spotting a "peeping tom" on her property.

The woman, who is in her 50s and lives alone on 35th Avenue SW near Brigadoon Elementary School, encountered the peeper peering through a window in July — then saw him again Nov. 30. She said the suspect is a clean-shaven young black man about 6 feet tall with a slender build. He was wearing a knit cap and a dark sweatshirt with white lettering. She said his eyes are set far apart. When she caught him in her backyard last week, he "just kind of walked away."

"I put fliers out the first time it happened," said the woman, who asked that her name not be published. "It alters the way you live."

The woman now has a sheet over the sliding glass door as one way to increase privacy at the home where she has lived since 1991.

"I may not live here much longer," she said.

Federal Way police responded to her call, but did not locate a suspect. However, residents are encouraged to report suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. A peeping tom could be anyone from a simple voyeur to a potential burglar. Reports of such activity can aid police as they patrol the city's neighborhoods.

"One peeping tom may not end up being anything, but multiple calls can help track a suspect," said Cathy Schrock, Federal Way police spokeswoman.

"Anytime there's a violation of your privacy, just call 911 and make sure you're secure."

In Washington state, voyeurism is a class C felony.

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