A man who was taking photographs of teenage girls outside earlier this month will not be arrested or face any charges from the incident because his actions were perfectly legal, said Tuesday.
Two female students at Santa Fe reported to some high school-aged girls that they saw the man taking pictures of them outside the school on June 7. Those girls contacted the principal who contacted police, and the man was tracked down through the license plate number of his vehicle.
Police then served a search warrant at the unidentified man's workplace, residence and vehicle, but no illegal material was recovered, Monrovia Police Lt. Michael Lee said.
"What he was doing is, regretfully, completely legal," Lee said. "He wasn't commiting a crime because there is no law against taking pictures of people in public places. In this case the girls were on a public street with a public view so there wouldn't be any problems in taking pictures."
Police recovered the man's camera and personal computer through the search warrant, but no illegal material was found on either device, Lee said.
"His explanation was he had a brand new camera and he was just trying it out," Lee said.
While the man's behavior was "creepy," Lee said that police could not arrest him under the law.
"The behavior doesn't just make us uncomfortable, it's creepy," he said. "The downside is nothing is illegal."
Though the actions of the man were not illegal, Lee urged parents to report any similar suspicious activity to the police. In this case, the high school girls who learned of the man's behavior tried to approach him before he fled, something Lee strongly discouraged.
"Get in touch with the police deptartment, don't make that approach," he said. "What the public might find suspicious in their neighborhood is probably fairly accurate. That's the time to call the Monrovia Police Department."