Personal Security Alert: Cell Phone Camera in Unisex Bathroom at Starbucks

I am posting this story since, frankly, it was a new one for me. Many of these smaller business such as coffee shops have small unisex bathrooms. But people can and do spend considerable time in these establishments. Drinking coffee. Working on computers. Younger people doing school work. Open carry advocates carrying Hi-Point rifles.

 

You get what I’m saying.

 

Well…it would be very easy for someone to mount a cell phone under the sink in such bathroom configurations. And then pass the time sitting in a chair working on a computer. Maybe even be connected to the device remotely. After an hour or two of grabbing video, walk in bathroom and remove device and evidence anything was amiss.

Camera Under Sink
Camera Under Sink

 

The night crews wouldn’t see it while cleaning. Service companies and vendors don’t usually operate during open hours. It’s almost the perfect, dirtbag crime. I’m sure many of you are not surprised by this. But I’m not one of the “cool kids” who frequents such establishments, so it caught me by surprise. Figure it might be of news to you as well.

 

Starbucks Camera Scam
Starbucks Camera Scam
Perp Mounted Camera Using Papertowls
Perp Mounted Camera Using Papertowls

So going forward, I will always open the tank on the backs of toilets in hotels. And check under sinks in unisex restrooms.

 

Marky

www.tacticaltshirts.com

“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

 

KTLA

Mom Horrified After 5-Year-Old Son Finds Hidden Camera in Starbucks Bathroom in Lancaster

Sheriff’s deputies in Lancaster were investigating the discovery of a hidden cellphone camera recording video inside the ladies bathroom at a Starbucks in Lancaster on Thursday.

A woman, who asked not to be identified, told KTLA that her 5-year-old son made the discovery around 10:30 a.m. at a Starbucks near Avenue K and 10th Street West.

“My son used the restroom first and I used the restroom after him,” she said. “I noticed he was staring at the sink a little bit perplexed. I asked him what was wrong and he said, ‘Mommy, why is there a phone under there?’”

When she looked under the sink, the woman saw a cell phone propped up by paper towels with the camera pointing toward the toilet.

She immediately notified employees who contacted the sheriff’s department.

“The deputies discovered that the cellphone was running in a video-recording motion,” said Lt. Joseph Fender with the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station.

“It’s such a violation of privacy,” the victim said. “Not only of mine, but my son.”

It was not clear where the video was being sent or how long the phone may have been recording.

“They were able to get some type of surveillance video from the location, however I don’t know what the contents of the video are at this time,” Fender said.

Starbucks spokesman Jaime Riley reached out to KTLA saying, “We are disturbed by this incident and take our obligation to provide a safe environment for our customers and partners (employees) very seriously. Our store partners took swift action as soon as they became aware of the incident by immediately alerting the Sheriff’s Department of the situation.”

  • Mikial

    Hi-Point rifles? Starbucks has a no guns policy, so not likely you’ll see a Hi-Point anything in there.

    • tacticaltshirts.com

      Marky

  • Conner

    It would seem to me that with all the technology built into these smart phones today like GPS, serial numbers, locating chips and all of our own available information that we are always concerned about being stolen, lost or hacked and with all the information you have to fill out to even buy a phone, this Sheriff could at minimum find the last owner of the phone and follow the trail of ownership. To me it didn’t sound as if much effort was put into the case. Maybe because I just woke up or maybe because they know it’s an inside employee and that’s as far as they want it to go. If it was me they videoed, well they get what deserve. But if one of these pervert bastards got pictures of my grandkids I’d hire a fuckin private detective so fast to find the worthless POS before those pictures got to a child porn shop hopefully. Great tip Marky and just another reason for me to stay away from these type of establishments (as if I needed more) and hope that my kids learn this soon enough. I do feel bad for the Mom and her son. I really hope they find the cockroach that did this and ruin his life. I drill my family at every chance to always carry and stay in red mode when in public because our enemy is now on American soil. Now I’ll pass on your warning to make them more aware of another type of attack. Ok I’m heading over to the milsurp section now.

    • I don’t advocate going through life in “red mode”. I just suggest people stay smart, educated and inquisitive about their personal security.

      Marky

    • Triggerpuller

      Conner unfortunately sir, it is all too easy to not only buy a burner phone but I could in a few hours teach you how to be invisible with it and even worse the web is full of people all too willing to teach others how to do bad things and stay off radar. I have been doing cybercrime investigations since late 1999 and have worked on shadowcrew, carderplanet, Albert Gonzales ( parent company of TJ Maxx hack) numerous child exploitation cases and I have spent way too much time in Romania, Nigeria, China, India other parts of Africa and Europe. I have helped build some of the best corporate investigations teams in the world and spend a lot of time and often my own money teaching local law enforcement in smaller towns because they are super willing but limited in budget. The point is many of these folks never get caught, there are too many of them and even with the best efforts by great people, it is usually only the greedy cybercriminals that get caught and only after after they do millions in damage. I found some big time human traffickers 3 yrs ago hiding in plain sight and we have done a lot of work on that case and we still are only on top of the low level dudes. Money now moves at the speed of light and there is more tech to break the law than to find the bad guys. So best thing is blogs like this or switched on people like you who educate themselves and others. Don’t become a paranoid wreck but do learn and spread the word there are more good people than bad people- just good people have jobs and families whereas bad guys and gals just burn calories being bad.

      I disagree a bit that it is the type of establishment that is sort of like gun grabbers blaming the gun. Live your life, enjoy it but as the mod says stay smart, educated and inquisitive about personal security.

      • Yup.

        Marky

      • Conner

        Triggerpuller, although I have to say I feel more helpless now as you said you felt after seeing the training film. I do thank you for taking the time to explain so respectfully the real life facts that my naivety, ignorance or whatever term fits has kept me from seeing. However I’m probably better off to have not known all of this in my earlier years. I’m now a grandfather now who many years ago went through the inexplicable pain and anger of having my pre-teen daughter sexually abused. At the same time I am so thankful and forever grateful that after calling the Sheriffs office, they not only gathered the info they needed to find her, but with their quick actions they found her after much abuse but before she was actually raped. I was a 6’4” 230lb man in tears crying like a girl when I thanked these three deputies with all my heart for finding my baby girl and bringing her home before she was raped or worse. I remember thinking while talking with the deputies that they were so young. They were not more then teenagers themselves. But by God they were heroes in my book! For years I felt I had failed my daughter as a father by missing the signs that her best girlfriends father was a predator. After that incident I swore I’d never let my guard down again. Hence my living in my red zone will most likely always be but I do understand and respect yours and Marky’s advice. I am sorry that you have to carry the burden of having had to deal with the lowest of the low while trying to protect others. As for that, serving our country as a Marine and as owner of your company that fights cybercrime, I do offer you a very heartfelt thank you for all of your service. I mean that. Be safe.

  • Triggerpuller

    I investigate cybercrime and run a global financial intelligence unit for an international fintech company- When you are in an area with huge sums of money and global exposure there isn’t much I haven’t seen or case types I haven’t dealt with from murder for hire, corrupt federal agents and child exploitation to all sorts of dope, illegal and sinister chemical and weapon sales. On the darkweb there are hundreds of hours of videos like this as well as child videos where friendly relatives volunteer to watch nieces and nephews for the summer while parents rekindle their love. So yeah I have started to hate people more than I did as a Marine. Many of these videos are traded as currency on the DN forums vice dealing with payments that can be linked back.

    Recently a local neighborhood message board here in SF Bay area had a thread about some group setting up game cameras in parks to capture wild flowers which seems odd to me. Anyhow, I tried to warn folks about how stuff like this can and does go bad and to be careful and maybe we should check these people out. I feel horrible having to think like this and the 10 or so really bad scenarios where a seemingly innocent game camera could capture something that could be ugly for a family. I feel like a freak sometimes just because I know enough to know this stuff can be used improperly. I went through an internet crimes against children training series and I before it I sort of was in the is PTSD real camp- Things in that training did more damage than war did. So next time you see a cop that works these issues shake their hand and thank them because they have a tough life protecting kids in ways you do not want to imagine. I don’t deal with 1% of what they do. They are heroes.

    Anyhow, thanks for posting stuff like this for awareness. I don’t want people in red state as you said but I do want good people to wake up and be aware. We need to do a better job of taking care of each other as a society and you are doing that with articles like this. So thanks for keeping us on our toes and being entertaining. I just found your blog today and I have yet to see 1 word that gave me pause which is odd for me. Maybe because I am a John and 1911 fanatic- must be something in the CLP.

    • You are very kind. It’s easy to become jaded. I try to balance it with gratitude. Usually works for me.

      Marky

      P.S. Welcome aboard.