Police charge man as a ‘peeping Tom’

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2000

A Natchez resident who police believe has been getting an eyeful of his neighbor recently was arrested Monday after allegedly being caught on videotape.

Jimmy D. Vanier Jr., 22, 356 Highland Blvd. Apt. 200, was being held at the Natchez City Jail Tuesday charged with the felony offense of being a &uot;peeping Tom.&uot;

&uot;He had allegedly gotten into an attic over an apartment building and was peeping through a hole in the ceiling over the bathroom,&uot; said Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff.

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Vanier was also charged with probation violation stemming from a March 1999 conviction of burglary of a storehouse. Police were able to arrest Vanier around 10:53 p.m. Monday with the help of a camera, officers had placed at his Plantation Manor apartment complex. Vanier was &uot;caught by video peeping through the hole in the attic,&uot; Huff said.

Officers placed the camera at the scene about two weeks ago, after a neighbor had reported the possibility of a peeping Tom.

&uot;The neighbor had become suspicious when she discovered a hole in the bathroom,&uot; Huff said.

The hole in question was about the size of a pencil, he said.

What is rare about this case is how police obtained evidence of the crime.

&uot;It is highly unusual to get a video tape of any crime that happens,&uot; Huff said.

Vanier was being held without bond Tuesday for the probation revocation charge and on a $5,000 bond for the peeping Tom charge. If convicted, he could receive a maximum of five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Vanier could also be facing an additional three years for allegedly violating his probation. He was originally given a three year suspended sentence and five years probation for the burglary conviction.