Police say Greenville secret peeping suspect did the same thing at Winterville church

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A man charged with felony secret peeping after a customer at a retail store recorded him putting his phone on the ground under a woman’s skirt is accused of doing the same thing at a Winterville church.

Winterville police say they charged Thomas Elliott with one count of secret peeping on Thursday. In that case, police said the crime happened at Opendoor Church on March 13th where Elliott was a volunteer.

Winterville police say the man is accused of doing the same thing at the church that he did at the Target store. Police say in all cases the victims were adult women.

In a statement, the church says the victim is an employee and that Elliott is a former staff member. “Out of a desire to protect any victims associated with this case and because this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to share any information at this time,” said a church spokesperson. “We are grateful for our local law enforcement and justice system and continue to work closely with them.”

Greenville police charged the man on Thursday with two additional charges for felony secret peeping at Target. He was served with the new warrants on Thursday.

According to Greenville police, their two additional charges come after a review of store camera footage from April 15th. In total, police say they have identified three separate victims at the store that morning and have charged him with five counts of secret peeping.

Greenville police spokesperson Kristen Hunter told WITN that Elliott was booked back into Pitt County Detention Center under a $10,000 bond.

On Tuesday, Greenville police say they charged Elliott with two additional charges for felony secret peeping at Target.

In their latest update, detectives say they are also aware of Elliott’s previous employment, and role as a volunteer, in several school settings. They say they are working closely with the schools and neighboring law enforcement agencies to review additional camera footage for any other potential victims.

We’re told detectives are continuing their review of Elliott’s electronic devices and have not found any evidence of inappropriate contact with children thus far.

The 21-year-old was arrested Monday after a woman recorded him putting his phone on the ground under another woman’s skirt, according to police. The customer posted her video on social media, where it’s been widely shared.

WITN spoke with the victim Tuesday. She said she decided to share her experience hoping to bring light to a dangerous trend, so others know what to do if caught in this situation.

“No matter how much you try to think you’re going to be prepared for it, it kind of throws you threw a loop when it actually happens,” the woman said.

A Pitt County School spokesman says Elliott was a volunteer at Eastern Elementary School in Greenville.

“We are disturbed and deeply concerned by video footage of the individual that has been shared on social media and news outlets, and based on the footage, the individual will not be returning to our campuses as a volunteer or hired as an employee,” said Tom McClellan, school system spokesman.

Elliott’s phone was seized by officers. According to police, detectives have not found any evidence of inappropriate contact with children as of yet.

Police say Target is fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

Anyone who was in Target mid-morning Monday and thinks they may have been in contact or nearby Elliott are asked to contact Detective Verdin with Greenville Police Department at (252)329-3399.

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