Detectives are investigating after hidden cameras were found in women’s bathrooms at three locations in the Florida Keys.
The miniature cameras were found inside coat hooks that anyone can buy online. They’re sold as “home security devices.”
Common spots for hidden cameras are inside dressing rooms, hotel rooms, and public bathrooms.
These cameras can be mounted anywhere: on the sink, inside the vents, or inside coat hooks.
“People need to have their privacy,” said Naples resident Daniel Coleman. “I think it’s wrong.”
Convenience store shoppers were shocked when we told them miniature cameras were found inside bathroom stalls.
We stopped by four different gas stations in Collier and Lee Counties, and we didn’t find any hidden cameras in the restrooms.
But private investigator Carrie Kerskie says they’re out there.
“Nowadays, with the advances in technology, all you need to do is insert a MicroSD card. The battery life for these coat hooks, I looked it up, is two hours. Then, you just take it out, pop it in the computer, and you have all your images,” said Kerskie. “It’s real simple and easy. They just walk in, hang it up, walk out, go back a few hours later and take it off.”
But Kerskie said there are tools you can use to defend yourself like the Spy Finder. Kerskie showed us how the Spy Finder worked by showing us a clock radio that had a hidden camera inside.
When you press the button and hold the device to your eye, you can see a red beam. You hold that beam toward the device and scan. If you see a red dot, that’s where the camera is located.
“If it’s a camera, that red dot is going to stay in the same place,” said Kerskie. “The size of a camera lens can be the side of a period at the end of a sentence — that’s how small they make them these days.”
The Spy Finder costs anywhere from $50 to $80.
Kerskie says if you’re living alone or in a dorm or you own a business, it may be worth the investment.
“I do recommend it if you’re a woman and you’re living alone or even a girl in college dorms. They have been found in those places. If you own an establishment with a dressing room or public restrooms, it’s a good idea to go in there periodically and check yourself,” said Kerskie. “That way, you’re not the one who is on the six o’clock news saying there was a camera found in your establishment.”
They say there’s an app for everything these days so we also looked into cell phone apps marketed to identify hidden cameras.
There are a few on the market, and most cost about $5. Kerskie said they can produce false positives.
“They may go off RF frequency. If they see anything on that frequency signal, you can easily get a lot of false positives because there are a lot of radio frequency signals. If you’re using a cordless phone, or wireless device, even the Wi-Fi itself, they’re all on frequency, so you can get false positives on those apps.”