One day last week, Summer Sullivan’s roommate noticed a cinder block from the yard surrounding their Ybor City home had been moved to a spot right under Sullivan’s bedroom window.
It had never been there before.
As they checked their surveillance cameras, the roommates were shocked to see a man walking around their property, peering in their cars and looking in their windows the week of Thanksgiving.
They counted no fewer than five times that week that the man appeared outside their house.
On almost every occasion, Sullivan was home alone.
Sullivan, 19, and her roommate, Anna Klettke, immediately called the police and filed a report.
On Monday — after more than a week of fearing being alone in the house — Sullivan received the welcome news that Tampa police had arrested a suspect.
Around 11 p.m., officers spotted Denzel Crumbley walking into a dark alleyway near Sullivan’s property, hiding behind a tree while holding onto a chain-link fence.
Crumbley, 26, was charged with five counts of loitering and prowling and two counts of attempted burglary.
He had two pre-existing warrants out for his arrest with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department for failure to appear for loitering and prowling, and for possession of a controlled substance.
Before his arrest, Crumbley returned one last time this past Saturday night.
“I was just terrified,” Sullivan said. “How long has he been watching me?
"Is it a peeping tom-type of deal, or is he trying to rob me?” she wondered.
Sullivan was so fearful, she turned to Twitter Sunday to share the surveillance videos and alert anyone in the area to be aware of the suspicious man. She didn’t expect her post to blow up as much as it did, with nearly 1.2 million views and more than 27,000 likes and retweets.
i never do this but twitter please do your thing. This man has been to my house multiple times in the past to weeks watching me and trying to get in my house when im home alone. PLEASE keep a look out in Tampa Fl, cops havent found him pic.twitter.com/jgBRxh9OsT— Summer Raw (@summer_raw) December 8, 2019
In the videos, Crumbley could be seen with a tattoo on his neck and his forearm.
His distinctive tattoos matched surveillance footage from the previous loitering and prowling calls, police spokesman Eddy Durkin said in an email.
“Crumbley gave a full confession of the times he peered into the window of the victim,” Durkin wrote.
According to Sullivan, Crumbley didn’t come at specific times. He appeared twice in one day, always in the evening after dark.
When it happened again on Saturday night, Sullivan had just returned from work. She was changing out of her work clothes when she heard something outside her window.
She ducked to the floor so the man couldn’t see her, then ran to the bathroom and called 9-1-1.
But Crumbley got away during the three minutes before police arrived at the home.
Thinking back, Sullivan realized the two had both been outside at the same time.
“He was walking up the property while I was walking inside the house,” she said, “but in the back.”
When Sullivan and Klettke moved into the home in June, it was surrounded by a fence. But Sullivan said their landlords recently took it down, making it easy for someone to walk on the property.
She said she’s always been mindful of her surroundings but never worried about their safety in the neighborhood.
“It’s not the best neighborhood," she said, “but we have a gated property, so I really didn’t think someone was coming in."
“And we have a dog that’s not vicious, but he would definitely scare someone away.”
But the week Crumbley came to the house, their dog was in boot camp because he had bitten people before.
The dog is returning home this week.
But first, Sullivan took matters into her own hands.
She made sure she was never home alone and had someone stay on her couch every night.
She and her roommate also began frequently checking their cameras and setting up phone alerts to notify them any time motion is detected. They also replaced the sheer curtains in their windows with blinds.
Sullivan’s bedroom window, Crumbley’s most frequent place to visit, now has blinds, and the window is completely blacked out.
Sullivan also said that she and her roommate had people patrolling at least six times a night, including police, family, friends and members of the Safety Zone Advocacy group, a nonprofit that aims to protect children from sexual predators and provide support to victims and families.
Sullivan feels safe now but still keeps a taser with her at all times.