Camera in liquor store bathroom under investigation

July 22, 2010 3:13:44 PM PDT
It started with a customer saying she found a camera hidden in a restroom in a liquor store, but it turns out nothing illegal was going on, just a business owner trying to protect herself. The customer called police immediately to investigate but the owner says the purpose of the camera was all a big misunderstanding. Baytown police say they were called to the liquor store on Tuesday after a customer complained she saw a camera inside the restroom.

Lt. Eric Freed with the Baytown Police Department said, "She observed a pinhole camera in a vent and she was concerned that the store owner or its employee was monitoring the activity in the bathroom."

The owner of UFO Liquor, Grace Yoo, says there was a camera in the bathroom, but it was only there to prevent people from stealing from her.

She said, "I understand she was very nervous and I said, 'Don't worry, those are not recorded. It's OK.'"

Yoo says she loses $500 a month sometimes from theft.

"A lot of people sneak bottles from here and people see the camera and don't steal it," Yoo explained. "That's why I put a fake camera up there."

Baytown police say the bathroom camera was actually inside the vent, but they found no evidence of wiring or a hookup to the system.

"The images would have to be broadcast, recorded or viewed by someone and in this case it was a dummy camera," Lt. Freed said.

Yoo says she doesn't want the report to scare off her long time customers. The camera is no longer in the vent and she'll stick to placing the cameras outside the restroom.

"People need to know I'm not the type to do bad kind of things," Yoo said. "I am so concerned about my customers."

Police say they will not be filing any charges and they say their call log backs up the owner's concern about the many thefts she has experienced.


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