Thursday, January 10, 2013
A Pennsylvania man is accused of making more than 17,000 phone calls in which he would allegedly ask for women by name and then make harassing and lewd comments, according to police.
Robert Glass, 51, of Meyerstown, Pa., was arrested and charged with 30 counts each of stalking and harassment by communication on Tuesday.
The investigation began in August 2012 when police from multiple jurisdictions started receiving reports of a man making harassing and lewd phone calls in the Susquehanna Valley, according to the North Londonderry Township Police Department.
There was a pattern to the phone calls.
"He would call these people repeatedly over 10 to 15 minutes, use their first name and really freak them out," North Londonderry Township Police Chief Kevin Snyder told ABCNews.com.
Glass would then allegedly make "lewd sexual comments," police said, and call back repeatedly. Several of the women reported receiving calls from the man over several days.
The calls went on for months, and hundreds of women were victimized, say police. The break in the case came in December when police used a victim's phone to trace the signal back to a prepaid wireless cell phone.
The phone was traced to a tanning salon. Investigators inquired about a man making phone calls at the salon, and it directed authorities to Glass, who lived about 55 yards from the salon, Snyder said.
A search warrant was served on the phone, and police obtained the phone numbers that were called. They received an 846-page report that showed that more than 17,000 calls were made over the period of 108 days.
"Without the technology we had, we couldn't have done anything," Snyder said. "Being able to track that phone used specifically at that tanning salon led to his arrest."
Glass is being held at the Lebanon County Prison on $25,000 bail. It could not be immediately determined if he has obtained a lawyer.
Snyder said that investigators are compiling victims' names. So far, 30 women have come forward.
"People have been calling us within the last 48 hours asking, 'Hey, is this the man that's been harassing me?'" he said.
Because of the large amount of calls that were made, police are asking that victims of lewd or harassing phone calls during that time period -- August through December 2012 -- call their local police department so that authorities can determine if the calls were made by Glass.