Wednesday night, a peeping Tom was caught kneeling on the floor of the dressing room area and taking pictures with his cell phone at a West Knoxville Target by a store employee and a woman he tried to photograph.
"I was trying on something and I looked in the mirror and saw something under my door and when I looked I didn't know what it was and then it moved," Leigh Hamby told WBIR 10News.
Hamby said she was in the dressing room around 7:45 p.m. and that there was not an attendant monitoring the dressing room area.
She quickly realized what she just caught sneaking underneath her dressing room door.
"Your first instinct is your stomach kinda drops a little bit because it wasn't just passing, it was a little under the door," said Hamby.
As soon as Hamby realized what happened, she heard a store employee shout.
"She asked him in that mama bear voice, which I appreciated, 'What are you doing?' and I heard a man's voice say something like 'nothing' or a defensive comment back. At that point, he took off," said Hamby.
An incident report from the Knoxville Police Department identifies the store employee as Susan Davis.
Davis told police, "while the victim, Leigh Hamby, was in the dressing room she observed the suspect, white male with black hat, burgundy t-shirt, gray shorts, around 5'9" and close to 200 pounds, kneeling down by the dressing room," according to the police report.
Davis also told police the suspect had his cell phone out and was taking photographs under the dressing room.
"I feel so violated. It's dehumanizing in a sense. That someone feels they can come into my dressing room and take something that doesn't belong to them. It's a violating and a humiliating feeling," said Hamby.
The incident report also indicates there is surveillance video of the suspect.
According to the report, "the suspect had been in and out of the dressing room for over an hour before he was caught taking photographs of the victim. I [the officer] observed around 5 or 6 other women enter the dressing room during this time, with each time the suspect entering the dressing room and exiting a short time after the females leave."
"It's heartbreaking to know they were most likely violated as well and have no awareness about it and it's not their fault. You shouldn't have to worry. It's just sad," said Hamby.
Hamby doesn't know if the suspect got away with a photo of her or any of the other woman. She hopes KPD catches the suspect soon.
Target told 10News in a statement:
"At Target, our guests are at the center of everything we do and our commitment to creating a safe and secure shopping environment in our stores is unwavering. As a part this commitment to safety, we have robust procedures, policies and trainings in place to ensure that our stores are safe places to shop and work. As soon as this incident was brought to our attention, we immediately partnered with local law enforcement."
If you have any information about this suspect, please contact the Knoxville Police Department at 865-215-7000.
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