SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – Women are coming forward saying they were victims of a San Marcos peeping tom. Police say instead of just looking through windows, Chaitanya Cherukuri, 24, took it one step further and would routinely crouch in their bedrooms while women slept.
Police arrested Cherukuri last week after they say he stalked a woman and stole from her apartment. Police say there could be at least 15 other victims. Sabrina Bauer says she was one of those.
“It was clear as daylight, that’s the guy I have seen multiple times on my floor in my house just lurking,” said Bauer when she saw the man’s mug shot. “It was really haunting.”
Bauer moved into the Treehouse Apartments in August 2016. She says she picked the apartment for the convenience of walking to Texas State. She says it also felt safe and secluded, but that feeling was far from her reality.
“I saw this guy in my apartment three times and caught him looking in my window twice,” said Bauer. “I wake up now at three or four in the morning just anxious and nervous.”
Bauer says she called police but Cherukuri got away before help arrived. In the eight months that she lived at the apartment complex, she says she had her windows bolted shut and her locks changed four times. Even with that, she says the man kept breaking in.
“Every single key that had ever gone missing was in that pile.”
“I immediately noticed after I called police that my bedroom key was missing off my key ring so he had personally had to get a house key and then get my bedroom key and then unlock my bedroom door to get back into my room,” said Bauer. “I don’t even know how many times this man was in my house where I didn’t wake up because I am such a heavy sleeper.”
It’s a similar story to what police were told last week that Cherukuri copied a resident’s key to get inside.
“For my sake, he just laid on the floor by my bed, but oh my God, he could have touched me, he had every possibility to do whatever he wanted to me because he had my house key, he had my bedroom key,” said Bauer.
Bauer started moving out of her apartment in March and when she returned in April to get some final items, she says Cherukuri still wasn’t done.
“A shirt of mine was returned to me and it was cut up into pieces and every single key that had ever gone missing was in that pile. So that was like, almost to me that was a threat, because I had left that upset him,” she said.
Bauer says she and her old roommate plan to go to police again in hopes of adding more charges. Cherukuri was released from jail three days after he was arrested. Police say he was also lived at the Treehouse Apartments and they believe all the cases he is linked to are within a short distance from the apartment. A spokesperson for the complex says Cherukurk was issued a 24-hour notice to vacate once they were made aware of the situation.
Police are asking people who think they’re victims to contact Detective Garner Ames at 512-753-2314.