Page last updated at 00:02 GMT, Tuesday, 13 May 2008 01:02 UK

Furtive Venice snapper arrested

By Christian Fraser
BBC News, Rome

St Mark's Square
Venice is a top tourist destination

A man who allegedly photographed more than 3,000 women's bottoms as they toured Venice has been arrested.

The man was stopped after police became suspicious of a large bag he was carrying as he followed women through St Mark's Square.

He has been charged with infringement of privacy. It is a crime which could earn this 38-year-old Italian from six months to four years in jail.

A police video shows a man in jeans and hooded top walking behind women.

He is trying to position his black holdall close to their legs.

Police said he was filming through a small hole in the side of the bag.

The officers had become suspicious when they realised he was only following women with short skirts. When they stopped or bent down to pick something up, he was clearly trying to angle the bag behind them.

When the voyeur was finally caught police recovered several DVDs which held more than 3,000 images of women's bottoms.

He confessed to police he had been filming in and around St Mark's Square for nearly two years.

Police have refused to name him but Mario Marina of Venice police said he is married with two young children and has a professional job in the nearby town of Padua.

He might have some explaining to do when he finally gets home.

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