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An Indiana man was charged with stalking a Royal Oak woman whom he started targeting nearly 18 years ago, and may have many other victims, investigators said.

In December, the victim called Royal Oak police to report someone called her cell phone from a blocked number and threatened to sexually assault her, department officials said in a statement.

The man said he "had spent several years attempting to locate her," according to the release.

The woman recognized the voice as belonging to a person who made similar calls in 2001 while she lived in Indiana, where "neighbors told her they had seen an unknown man sitting in multiple different vehicles outside her apartment complex on several occasions," city authorities reported.

Indiana officials failed to identify the suspect, and the phone calls continued when the victim moved to Michigan in 2004, police said. She stopped hearing from the man after concealing her identity.

Royal Oak detectives tracked the suspect, identified as Steven Craig Mason, to his mother's home in Anderson, Indiana, where a search warrant was executed.

The 42-year-old, whose criminal history includes a conviction for operating while
intoxicated, told police he stalked the Royal Oak resident and thousands of other women.

Homeland Security investigators confiscated his computer and are working to identify other potential victims.

“Royal Oak detectives did an outstanding job with this case," police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said. "This victim and potentially many others have been living in a state of constant fear. We are glad, after all these years, to give this young woman some peace.”

After extradition from Indiana, Mason was arraigned Tuesday at Royal Oak's 44th District Court. He was charged with aggravated stalking, a felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

Mason remained at the Oakland County Jail on a $100,00 bond, records show.

His next court appearance is set for 9 a.m. May 17 before 44th District Judge Derek Meinecke.
 

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