How to keep yourself safe from hidden cameras

If you’ve ever felt like you’re being watched, you could be. This isn’t a Halloween story, it’s real life for some in Middletown.
Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 11:05 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - If you’ve ever felt like you’re being watched, you could be. This isn’t a Halloween story, it’s real life for some in Middletown.

As cameras get smaller and resolutions get higher, they can be put in just about anything.

This week the cleaning staff at CycleBar in Middletown found one with nude images.

A man was cited on Friday for placing a hidden camera inside a feminine hygiene container. Police say it recorded video of genitalia and breasts.

The man put the hidden camera in the same restroom three separate times.

WAVE news security expert D’Shawn Johnson says it happens more than you think.

“The camera clarity with 4k, 1080 HD, has gotten a lot better so you can take a really, really small item and put a camera in it and it can be very effective and get a great picture with it,” Johnson said.

Annie Locke, the owner of “CycleBar Fitness Center” on Shelbyville road told us this was a terrible invasion of her client’s privacy.

Locke said she works very hard to secure the safety of her clients by always checking the bathrooms and studio.

That’s how she found the camera.

With a simple search online, It’s easy to find devices like a pen camera. But it’s not only pens, cameras can be inside anything.

“It used to be things that are out of place, but now it’s at a point now, they can make camera devices look like something that actually belongs in that area that you’re in,” Johnson said.

Locke said she has a security system that allows her to see most areas of the studio...except for the bathrooms and showers.

In a bathroom, the toilet paper dispenser or even hinges that open or unlock the door could be a spot for cameras.

So what are safety steps that can prevent you from being secretly recorded?

“Take a look. Look, shake, look behind things before you go. Take a visual note of what’s around you, whether you’re in a bathroom stall, bathroom, hotel room, AirBnb, or any location that you’re in,” Johnson said.

Some smartphones can help you find a hidden camera.

All you have to do is point your phone’s camera around the room and look for any bright red dots that appear on the screen.

Those dots reveal the presence of infrared, which most cameras give off to enhance pictures in the dark.

Johnson says if you don’t feel comfortable, leave.

But If you have to stay, cover up whatever you’re unsure about with a towel or piece of clothing.

If you do find something suspicious, act.

“First of all, call local law enforcement and let them know and turn over that evidence to them, let them know. Second of all you should take out your phone and take pictures of the area you’re in. Notify the management of the facility and let them know also that you found a recording device in their facility,” Johnson said.

Johnson says only hand over evidence to police and not management of the place you’re in.

Locke told me she’s everything she can to make sure this doesn’t happen in another fitness facility by bringing awareness to it.