A lot of folks in East Peoria and Creve Coeur are complaining about a creepy guy.

He follows motorists. He drives dangerously. He takes photos and videos. He scares a lot of people.

The complaints go on and on. But police are doing nothing.

Why? Because the complaints are made on Facebook, and not to police.

“A Facebook post is not a police report,” says East Peoria police Chief Dick Ganschow.

I don’t doubt the sincerity of the Facebook complaints, which I saw after multiple readers pointed them out to me and suggested I do a story. The original post has been shared 1,600 times and triggered more than 300 comments. Many involve alarming accounts from men and women disturbed by the same creep. A sampling:

* “(He) literally followed me around recording me for no reason! He about ran me and my daughter off the road trying to get us to pull over. ... Very scary.”

* “He drives around like an idiot.”

* “He dipped into a subdivision after throwing a wrench at someone else's car.”

* “This is the puke that was following me and snapping pics and trying to get me to pull over.”

* “That guy is a freakin’ creep. He did the same (stuff) to me. He was driving fast, cutting me off, then slammed on his brakes. Also taking pic of my car plates and myself.”

There are plenty of similar stories, some featuring several photos of the same man and the same car. What to do about him? Well, a few keyboard cowboys swaggered into the conversation:

* “I say we get our own group together and go deal with it ourselves. I know a handful of people who would have no problem making sure he never got behind the wheel again.”

* “I drive a big ol' truck. It would be fun to just monster-truck him.”

* “The best thing for him is to be euthanized.”

Vigilante torture and capital punishment might make for satisfying chest thumping, as well as offer keen insight into a select slice of local citizenry. Perhaps we need to be clear here: Neither notion is legal.

Besides, there is an easier option, as offered by a woman who says she was a victim of the creep years ago. Her advice: Get off Facebook and call the cops.

“Report him,” she wrote. “I had an order of protection that he violated and got four years for it. KEEP REPORTING HIM. Send his (butt) back to jail.”

I can’t be 100 percent certain she was the victim. But I don’t doubt her. And the following is definitely true: In 2014, the creepy guy really did go to prison for four years after violating an order of protection in Tazewell County.

“Everyone wants to complain,” the woman further wrote. “Nothing will happen if you just send it to Facebook. Go get something done about it.”

Outside Facebook, what have people done lately? Well, in Peoria County — where in 2007 the same guy was sentenced to four years in prison for aggravated battery — a woman is taking him to court to seek a permanent order of protection against him. Good for her.

But in Creve Coeur and East Peoria, where Facebook comments paint his reign of creepiness, police haven’t heard a peep lately.

“If they don’t call us, we can’t do anything about it,” said a dispatcher for Creve Coeur police.

And in East Peoria, Chief Ganschow is frustrated to hear that a recent social-media outcry hasn’t reached his department. It’s not as if people haven’t complained about this same guy in years past. The man, who lives in East Peoria, has been a headache “for many, many years,” Ganschow says.

In Tazewell County, the creepy guy has been arrested multiple times on traffic citations and ordinance violations. In addition to the stalking conviction, he has gone to jail three times: for domestic battery, disorderly conduct and violating an order of protection.

Ganschow says his department periodically encounters other men who act much like the creepy guy. Their bad behavior goes in waves, as they often go quiet for a spell.

“Then, all of a sudden, something will set them off,” he says.

During those rambunctious times, Ganschow admits, police not always have been unable to pin a crime on the creepy guy. And victims get peeved.

“I get it,” the chief says. “They’ve been frustrated for years.”

Plus, the creepy guy can be wily.

“He’s not stupid,” the chief says. “He knows where the line is.”

But he sometimes crosses that line, as his police record shows. Stalking can be hard to prove, as the crime involves a “course of conduct” over time. But other charges can be more immediate and easier to make, such as disorderly conduct (“to alarm or disturb another and to provoke a breach of the peace”) and assault (“conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery”). Those latter two are usually misdemeanors, but why not get a creepy guy off the street for any reason?

Still, there’s only one way to do that. Get off Facebook, call the cops, and make a report. Again and again and again. Afterward, if you wish, rush back to your keyboard. But make police the priority.

“If we can get ammunition to make a case,” Chief Ganschow says, “we’d like nothing more.”

The phone number for East Peoria police is (309) 698-4700. The phone number for Creve Coeur police is (309) 699-9511.

PHIL LUCIANO is a Journal Star columnist. He can be reached at pluciano@pjstar.com, facebook.com/philluciano and (309) 686-3155. Follow him on Twitter.com/LucianoPhil.