Police looking for more victims of alleged "Peeping Tom"

Robert James Bell
Robert James Bell

DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - A man faces criminal surveillance charges in three cities in two states, including Decatur. And he pleaded guilty to that charge for a 2009 case in Athens.

Robert James Bell is accused of spying on women in public restrooms in Decatur, Huntsville, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. He faces six charges in the Michigan case.

Decatur Police investigators with their new Community Service Unit zeroed in on Bell after hearing about a man following women into public restrooms three times between August 23-28th.

Decatur authorities said Bell followed women into the restroom, then would take off when found out.

They say it happened at Wintzell's Oyster House and the Home Depot on Beltline Road, and at the Holiday Inn.

Bell pleaded guilty to six counts of criminal surveillance for peeping on women in the Athens Walmart in 2009.

In this case, he's charged with three counts of criminal surveillance and three burglary counts.

Investigators said there may be more victims.

"Because of the way he would flee when they were encountering him, they may not have been able identify him. May have not even reported this. And if they are interested in coming to us and making a report about it, we'd certainly be interested in talking to them," said Lt. Proncey Robertson.

Bell is in the Decatur City Jail. Police said because he is also in violation of his probation, he cannot be released from jail until a new bond is set by a judge.

Authorities said they arrested him during a traffic stop after he missed court to face the same charge for previous incident in Decatur.

Because the felony burglary counts allegedly happened during a sexually motivated crime, a conviction would make Bell a registered sex offender, which is dictated under Alabama's tougher sex offender law, in effect since July.

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