Italian police have arrested a man in Venice who was allegedly wandering around St. Mark's Square and other city landmarks while secretly filming thousands of women's bottoms, officials said Tuesday.

The man was arrested Saturday after police on patrol noticed him closely following a young woman while carrying a large bag hanging from his shoulder.

"He was very well dressed," paramilitary police Capt. Mario Marino said. "He followed her and when she bent over to pick up something he tried to place the tip of the bag under her skirt."

Upon inspection, the bag revealed a sophisticated camera which the man had used to film some 3,000 women in the area over more than three years, Marino said. The bag also contained DVDs with the material filmed by the man, he said.

The alleged voyeur was not identified, but Marino said he is a 38-year-old businessman from nearby Padua, married and with two children. He was released but police have filed a complaint for invasion of privacy, a crime carrying a penalty of up to two years in jail.