AUSTIN (KXAN) — The arrest of a 65-year-old Austin man on stalking charges has Austin police asking anyone who may have had an encounter with the suspect or his blue Honda to come forward.
Mark Lauritzen faces a third degree felony in connection with a series of incidents at Austin bus stops in the last year.
The victim told police she was approached by the suspect Nov. 8, 2014 at the bus stop in front of Texaco at 1st Street and Oltorf. The suspect was in a blue Honda Civic when he made eye contact and attempted to talk to two women waiting for the bus.
In August 2015, one of the women saw the same man in the same car driving up to the bus stop at 5th Street and Oltorf. According to the affidavit for his arrest, Lauritzen circled the bus stop more than two times as he stared and smiled at her. At one point the woman told police she began to fear that he would abduct her when he parked his car behind the bus stop and began waving at her.
When she snapped pictures of the car, Lauritzen started to open the car door. The affidavit said the bus arrived at that moment and the woman quickly boarded. She immediately told the bus driver her fears of abduction by this man. As the bus pulled away the bus driver told the woman the blue car was following the bus. The driver took a picture of Laurizen’s license plate.
The woman confirmed to police that this was the same man that had followed her in 2014.
Afraid to walk to the bus stop at night, the woman told officers that she quit her job fearing she would run into Lauritzen again.
Betsy Martinez works just around the corner from 5th street and Oltorf. One of the two locations police say Lauritzen would approach women.
“Some of my co-workers, they take the bus everyday so it is kind of scary. I’m going to have to let her know. It’s scary,” she says.
Marilyn Langley lives nearby and won’t ride the bus alone at night. She tells KXAN, “I come out at this time of day. You’re not going to catch me out here when the sun goes down. I’m just not coming out.”
Police say they believe the man has been stalking women at bus stops and ask for anyone who has encountered him or seen his car to contact Domestic Violence Detective Seago at 512-974-5888.
Lauritzen’s mugshot is not available.