Man arrested for stalking |

Man arrested for stalking

What began as a prowler call turned into a stalking case that spanned 3 1/2 years, Douglas County investigators said Tuesday.

A 33-year-old Stateline woman reported a prowler in her back yard on the 100 block of Faris Court, around 10:30 p.m. Friday. The woman said she believed the man was a former friend. Deputies stopped Steven Edwin Ahrens, 35, who was caught running across the cul-de-sac away from the woman’s home.

After receiving consent to search his home, investigators said they found evidence that Ahrens was videotaping the woman’s front door. Deputies found a video camera set up in a back bedroom of Ahrens’ home, which is located across the cul-de-sac. Ahrens also allegedly had numerous photographs of the woman – some of them enlarged and framed. A certified locksmith, Ahrens allegedly made a key to the woman’s house in August 1998 and entered the house when no one was home.

Investigators said Ahrens claimed he and the woman were in an intimate relationship for about a year and half and when the woman ended the relationship he became obsessed with her. The woman said she and Ahrens were only friends and never intimate.

Investigators said Ahrens admitted to being in the woman’s back yard Friday night and said he was trying to find out if she was home.

Ahrens said he sought spiritual help from the “elders” of his church to stop his obsession. He said he followed the woman during her daily activities and had even rummaged through her trash and kept certain items, investigators added.

Ahrens and the woman met when they worked at the Lakeside Inn and Casino. Ahrens was a cook and the woman a waitress. The woman told investigators that Ahrens joined her church, but she later learned he only joined to be near her. The woman said their friendship ended when Ahrens asked her to commit to him. She said when she refused he became angry and his “bizarre” behavior began.

The woman reportedly once caught Ahrens wearing only his underwear in her bedroom. The woman told police that she didn’t report the incident because she was hopeful that the church “elders” would help him.

The woman said Ahrens even followed her to Seattle while she was visiting family. She didn’t see him there, but found a rose scented with perfume on her car windshield. She said she’s noticed that her garbage is being tampered with and had the feeling that someone has been inside her home.

During the search of Ahrens’ house investigators said they found a prescription drug bottle labeled with the woman’s name, and a plastic bag of women’s clothing. Ahrens allegedly told investigators about the clothing before their search. He said the woman would believe the clothes belonged to her. Ahrens said he purchased the clothes at a thrift store.

Ahrens is being held in the Douglas County Jail on suspicion of aggravated stalking, trespassing, possession of a prescription drug without permission, possession of stolen property, and burglary. His bail is set at $75,000.

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