Police: Man took inappropriate photo of girl at mall - WNEM TV 5

Police: Man took inappropriate photo of girl at mall

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BIRCH RUN, MI (WNEM) -

Police are asking your help tracking down a man they said took inappropriate photos of young girls at a local mall.

The incident happened on Aug. 13. about 4 p.m. at the Prime Outlets in Birch Run. 

Police Chief Al Swearengin said a father was shopping with his 11-year-old daughter when he noticed a man down on his hands and knees.

The father initially thought the man was looking to get something off a shelf, when he noticed the man had a smartphone or camera held away from his body and pointed up as his daughter, wearing a skit, walked by. 

Swearengin said the father yelled out at the man and when he threatened to call police, the man took off running. 

"I find it appalling first of all," said Jenny White, parent.

TV5's family expert Dr. Thomas Haller said an experience like this can traumatize a victim and it's a subject parents need to talk about with their kids.

"The problem for the victim is upskirting is, it's something that is happening to them that they most of the time don't realize that this video is being taken. So they're being somewhat violated unbeknownst to themselves," Haller said.

He said the most important lesson is to be aware of your surroundings and watch out for other people watching you.

"We just need to be mindful. There's stuff that we need to protect in and of ourselves and we can't control everybody else out there in the world," Haller said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 989-624-1113 to speak to an officer. 

Birch Run Premium Outlets released the following statement:

The safety of our guests and employees at Birch Run Premium Outlets is our top priority. We want all of our guests to enjoy a safe and comfortable experience and to this end we employ a number of practices, both seen and unseen, to make our center as safe as possible. We also maintain close relationships with local law authorities, including the Village of Birch Run Police. 

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