Video Camera Disguised as Air Freshener at Plano Rec Center

Crime Stoppers offering reward of up to $5,000

By Elvira Sakmari
|  Saturday, Dec 3, 2011  |  Updated 12:41 PM CDT
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Plano police are asking for help in identifying a man in connection with the installation of a video camera disguised as an air freshener in a rec center family changing area.

Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News

Plano police are asking for help in identifying a man in connection with the installation of a video camera disguised as an air freshener in a rec center family changing area.

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Plano police want to talk to the man who installed a hidden camera in a changing room at a Plano recreation center.

Police said the recording device was disguised to look like an air freshener. It was found attached to the wall next to a shower in a family changing area in the Oak Point Recreation Center.

"We believe it was put in there for the recording of individuals as they are changing clothes, dressing and going in to take a shower," Officer David Tilley said.

The center's supervisor said the camera was halfway down the wall, pointing downward.

"I mean, you can conclude that they probably wanted [to record] someone smaller, rather than adults," Coffy Robinson said.

But police said they believe the camera was only up for an hour before Oak Point staff spotted it.

Police alerted the one family who used the changing room while the camera was up.

Investigators released photos of a man they need help identifying.

"We have the recording video device," Tilley said. "He's on there. You can clearly see [him] -- based on the photographs we've put out, he's looking into it."

He is described as a white man between 30 and 40 years old and standing between 5 feet 8 inches tall and 6 feet tall with a medium build. He has short brown hair with sideburns and a bald spot on the crown of his head.

"We realize these images are just crystal-clear, and we just believe that there's somebody out there that's going to be able to identify who this person is so that we can talk to him," Tilley said.

Police said they've checked every city recreation center for other hidden cameras and alerted neighboring cities to check their bathrooms for similar devices.

Anyone with information about the man or the incident at the rec center is encouraged to call the  Plano Police Department Tip Line at 972-941-2148 or the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 877-373-8477.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.

Investigators said that as technology gets better and recording devices get smaller and cheaper, hidden cameras are easier to make and disguise. Plano police encourage citizens to be aware and report anything suspicious to law enforcement.

NBC 5's Ellen Goldberg contributed to this report.

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