A man accused of placing a hidden camera in a dressing room at the Washington Target Store has been charged in a misdemeanor warrant.
Clay F. Wideman, 37, of St. Clair, is charged with one count of second-degree attempted invasion of privacy.
Wideman allegedly concealed a camera in a unisex fitting room on June 8 which was found by store personnel.
“The device recorded the legs of a subject who went into the fitting room to try on clothes,” according to a probable cause statement filed with the court.
Store personnel traced Wideman’s activities while he was in the store and on the parking lot from store video surveillance cameras.
Detective Kevin Blackburn noted in the probable cause statement that he created a time line using the time stamps on the store video and files located on the SD card in the hidden camera.
“All the time stamps match the time period Wideman was in the store,” Blackburn stated.
The misdemeanor warrant notes that the camera secretly recorded both a woman and a man inside the dressing room.
After reviewing store surveillance video and video from other stores in the area, police obtained a license plate number and identified the suspect through his employer, Detecive Sgt. Steve Sitzes said.
Blackburn questioned the 37-year-old man on June 16, but the suspect quickly asked to call his attorney which ended the interrogation, Sitzes said.
A dome, which was painted red, was taped to a wall below a seat in the fitting room, Sitzes said. Inside was the pinhole camera and a camera card.
Store personnel became aware of the object when it fell off the wall.
Sitzes said after reviewing in-store video, police identified a possible suspect who was in the area of the fitting room. The man left the store, changed his clothes in a van, then returned wearing different clothes as well as sunglasses and a ball cap, the detective said.
When he returned he walked around the store for a time, then left without buying anything.
“Due to his actions, we identified him as a possible suspect,” Sitzes said.
Thinking that this was not the first time he did this, detectives sought a search warrant for the man’s home, but the prosecutor’s office declined to issue one based on the amount of evidence, Sitzes said.