DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The Durham Police Department is seeking public assistance as it works to identify and arrest the suspect seen in surveillance video from Michaels on New Hope Commons Drive.
The video was taken May 11 and shows a heavy-set man walking throughout the store.
Police say it was around this time he took a picture of a young girl with his cell phone.
“The suspect you see in the video wearing a white T-shirt and baseball cap was following the grandmother and the little girl around the store,” said Wil Glenn with the Durham Police Department. “The little girl basically went into the bathroom and the suspect followed her in there and took a picture with his cell phone, kind of under the stall.”
“I think that’s like the craziest thing ever, especially being the father of five daughters,” said Jevon Rogers.
Rogers’ youngest daughter is 7 years old.
After hearing what police has accused this man of, Rogers is hoping the suspect gets caught.
“It’s just a scary thing as a parent to know that, if that was my child and that happened, I would really want something to happen to that person,” said Rogers. “I would hope that they would be brought to justice.”
The video has put parents like Rogers on edge.
He says now he’s going home to teach his daughters yet another way to protect themselves.
“I wouldn’t have even thought to say, ‘Hey, watch out for maybe somebody trying to take a picture of you in the bathroom,’ that didn’t cross my mind but I will now,” he said.
Police say it took some time from the day this crime happened to get a hold of this video.
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident or the suspect’s identity to call Investigator M.T. Bynum at (919) 560-4440 ext. 29328 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.
Early Wednesday evening, Michaels released a statement about this incident:
“We were appalled to learn of the incident that occurred in the Durham, NC store. The safety and well-being of our customers is our top priority and this kind of behavior is not tolerated at Michaels,” Mallory Smith, manager of public relations said in a news release. “We are fully cooperating with the appropriate authorities in their investigation and committed to assisting, however, we can in their continued search for the suspect.”