Hidden Pinhole Cameras an Emerging, Disturbing Trend

NBC 5 is uncovering information about a disturbing emerging trend — that of peeping toms hiding cameras in public restrooms.

Last month, there were two reports, within weeks of each other, of cameras being found in public bathrooms in popular locations in Irving.

In early February, police were called to a Starbucks on North MacArthur Boulevard; an employee found a small video camera taped under a sink inside the women's bathroom. The camera appeared to be motion activated. It was the size of a car keychain remote.

"It's shocking ... I'm like, stunned," said Brandy Stanfill. "It's violating, it's devastating, I come here every day and its shocking."

Weeks after the discovery, Irving police were called to an apartment complex on North Belt Line Road. There, the cleaning staff discovered a small camera disguised as a coat hook in the fitness center bathroom.

"They knew it to be something that they didn't install, and so they contacted us. We got out there and recognized it as another recording device and seized it," said Officer James McLellan with the Irving Police Department.

With no memory card inside the device, police couldn't track it back to anyone.

Just last week, a Kennedale teacher was arrested after police said he hid a camera under a sink in a faculty bathroom.

"It will make me think twice about going into a public restroom," said Stanfill.

Luckily, in both cases, police did not find images of victims; they believe the cameras were discovered quickly.

Placing a hidden camera is considered a state jail felony, punishable by jail time.

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