Police say they have found prowler
By KELLEY BENHAM, Times Staff Writer
TARPON SPRINGS -- A man arrested after peeping into a 15-year-old girl's window Saturday night is the same one who twice broke into a woman's apartment while she was sleeping, police said.
Jose Galvan Dothi, 26, of 400 E Orange St. No. 1, matched the description of a man police have been looking for in the two burglaries and in a third incident at the Cypress Place apartments.
Police arrested Dothi after a girl who lives on Orange Street told police she heard noises outside her bedroom window and saw a man looking at her Saturday night about 11:30 p.m.
The man ran away, then was seen riding a bicycle down Vandora Lane as officers searched the area. Officer Paul Carey found the bike at the bottom of a set of stairs at 127 N Grosse Ave., a vacant residence. Carey found Dothi hiding under a window awning on a porch at the top of the stairs. The girl identified him as the face at her window.
Dothi later admitted to officers that he twice broke into a 23-year-old woman's home at the Tarponwood Apartments, police said.
The first time, in October, he entered the woman's apartment through a living room window and rifled through her underwear drawer while she slept, police said. They said when the woman woke up and saw him, he pinned her to the bed, tried to pry her legs apart, then ran away.
The second time, in December, the woman woke up and saw him inches from her face, squatting by her bed. The woman's boyfriend chased him out the front door.
Dothi was charged with two counts of burglary and with stalking for the Tarponwood incidents. He told police he broke into the apartment out of curiousity, because the woman was "beautiful" and he liked watching her and wanted to look at her lingerie. He said he held her legs to keep her quiet and to keep her from getting out of bed.
He was also charged with loitering and prowling and trespassing for the Saturday night window-peeping.
He was being held Monday night in lieu of $45,000 bail.
Dothi has been arrested for loitering and prowling and trespassing before, Pinellas court records show.
In one case, the charge was dropped. In another, he pleaded guilty and paid a fine.
He pleaded not guilty to a loitering and prowling charge in November, and has an arraignment scheduled Jan. 27.
He denied involvement in an incident that occurred within 24 hours and a few blocks of the second Tarponwood burglary. A man reached into a 14-year-old girl's bedroom window at Cypress Place Apartments while she was sleeping.
Tarpon Springs police Sgt. Jeffrey Young said the boldness of the burglaries was alarming, because few burglars will knowingly enter a room where adults are present.
"We're glad we were able to catch him before he caused serious harm to someone," he said.
-- Kelley Benham can be reached at (727) 445-4182 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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