The Birmingham Police Department is currently investigating a suspect whom they believe to be the man responsible for two incidents of indecent exposure in the Birmingham area.
“There is a person of interest that I have identified,” said BPD police liaison Ron Halcrow, who declined to reveal the person of interest. “We just need a little more in depth of a case.”
The individual in question was stopped during police surveillance on February 25. The subject and his vehicle matched the description of the man.
“[BPD] has complied a photo lineup using similar Secretary of State photos of white men in their late 30s and early 40s, put them together along with the person we stopped and showed that to the victims to see if they recognized that person,” said Halcrow.
Because the investigation is still ongoing, Halcrow could not confirm that the victims were able to identify the suspect.
BPS was able to contact the suspect for an interview. Although Halcrow was unable to reveal whether the suspect confessed to any of the alledged incidences of exposure, BPD did not gather enough information to make an arrest.
“At this point, we need more probable cause to move forward in this investigation,” said Halcrow. “Right now we don’t have enough evidence to make a charge.”
BPD is now in the process of following up on leads related to the incidences and conducting search warrants on the suspect’s cell phone in order to determine where the suspect made phone calls on the days where the exposures occurred.
“If [the results of the search] are significant enough, an arrest warrant may be issued,” said Halcrow.
Halcrow expects the results from the cell phone company could take as many as 30 days to turn up.
The first report of indecent exposure was on Monday February 22, at 12:30pm the western parking lot at Midvale. The witness described a man between the ages of 30-40 years seated in a navy blue, American made four-door sedan with a thin chrome bumper strip on each side of the car.
On Wednesday February 24, a similar vehicle was observed by a 40 year old female who was walking out of the Art Center. She noticed the similarly described four-door sedan.
“As she approached the vehicle, she could see a shirtless man in his late 30s to early 40s sitting there looking to be masturbating,” said Halcrow. “She never actually saw him doing that, but from the motions that is what she assumed.”
Because of both the incidences proximity to Birmingham Public Schools, BPS is now warning its students and parents to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior.
“It is important that we continually remind our students to be cautious around strangers and to always report any suspicious individuals,” wrote BPS representative Marcia Wilkinson in an email to BPS staff.
Although the reported exposures have occurred in close proximity to Birmingham Schools, Wilkinson does not feel that they are in any way related to BPS.
“Individuals interested in doing these types of things tend to gravitate towards parking lots,” said Wilkinson. “It just so happens that schools have a lot of parking lots. It’s a coincidence.”
Still, Wilkinson has received calls from concerned parents whose children live in the area behind the Midvale Center.
“We’re making sure that our bus drivers are especially aware of any vehicles similar that match the suspect’s description and are aware of the surroundings before dropping off students after school,” said Wilkinson.
Since BPD interviewed their suspect, there have been no further incidences of exposure. Wilkinson is confident that if BDP do in fact have identified the right individual, there will be no more incidences in the Birmingham area.
“From what I’ve heard, the suspect knows that he is being watched very closely,” said Wilkinson. “I think he knows that he can’t do that sort of thing is this area anymore.”