By Mike LaBella
---- — HAVERHILL — Police said a man with a cell phone camera reached under the skirt of a young girl who was shopping with her mother at the Market Basket at Westgate Plaza Monday afternoon and took a photo.
A store surveillance camera showed that the mother and daughter were looking at items on store shelves while the man was standing behind them, police said.
The man walked up behind the girl, then bent over and with his left hand placed the cell phone under the girl's dress, apparently to take a photo, according to a police report. Police said the girl appeared startled, which caught the attention of her mother.
The mother then grabbed her daughter to pull her away from the man, according to police. The man appeared to say something to the woman as they walked down the aisle then they walked out of view of the camera.
Police described the man as age 25 to 35, wearing a collared short-sleeve green shirt, dark athletic type shorts with a white stripe on the side and white trim along the bottom of the shorts and brown casual shoes. The man may have been wearing eyeglasses and is believed to have short light colored hair, possibly light brown or red.
The woman alerted the store manager as to what had occurred then left her name and phone number with him.
Police contacted the woman and she told them the man had been following them around the store for approximately 15 minutes, then approached them from behind while they were looking at products.
The woman told police she asked the man if he'd touched her daughter, and he said he was sorry then walked off. The young girl told police the man touched her dress and that she felt it move.
The incident was reported to police shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday.
Police asked that anyone with information about the man called the Police Department at 978-373-1212.
A complete report will appear in Thursday's edition of The Eagle-Tribune.