Shoe-phone skirt-peeping alleged

GLENN KAUTH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

First, he attached a cellphone to his shoe, according to police.

Then, a man got close enough to women shopping at the Oliver Square London Drugs on Tuesday to put his feet between their legs. In the meantime, he was taking pictures up their skirts with the cellphone's camera, police say.

Security staff, however, became wise to the man's behaviour and called police, who later nabbed a suspect in the 117 Street and 104 Avenue store.

A 23-year-old man faces charges of voyeurism and mischief.

But police couldn't say yesterday how many women were allegedly victimized. "It's still really early," said police spokesman Jeff Wuite. "That is something investigators will be looking into."

The incident outraged some women shopping at the London Drugs store yesterday.

"Girls wear skirts because guys like to look at them in skirts," said Kathryn Elliott, 19. "They don't expect guys to have cameras on their shoes to look up their skirts."

Another shopper, however, said the incident didn't faze her. "There are lots of sick men out there," said the woman, who declined to give her name.

The case isn't the first time Edmonton women have found themselves spied upon using secret cameras.

In 2006, someone caused a kerfuffle at NAIT when a woman using a bathroom found a device pointed at her in a ceiling vent above the stall. Police later found a camera, a VCR, cables and an extension cord and charged a man.

The suspect was later cleared of voyeurism charges.

More recently, police got calls about a man using a cellphone camera on his shoe along Jasper Ave., but Wuite couldn't say if the June 21 incident had anything to do with the present charge.

"We have had cases of this in the past, but it's certainly not common," he said.

Toronto, meanwhile, has seen a few such incidents, including the case of a 22-year-old man charged in March for using a cellphone camera to snap pictures up the skirts of teens in school uniforms. Six years earlier, police there arrested a 40-year-old man for producing videos using a camera hidden in a shoe or a bag and selling them around the world.

For Elliott, the latest Edmonton incident is a reminder of why she watches out for perverts in public.

"It freaks me out. In change rooms, I'm always thinking about it because it could happen. I always worry about it," she said.

The accused in the London Drugs case - Damien Joshua Coucke - has been freed on bail. Bail conditions include that he stay away from the Oliver store and that he not possess any device capable of taking pictures or video. Coucke will be back in court on the charges on Tuesday.


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