Janet Kwak and Rodney Danson
Deputies and Gap security officers were trying to find out who put a small, secret camera in a dressing room. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012
Surveillance cameras inside The Shops at Mission Viejo are meant to keep shoppers safe. But inside a fitting room? That's a different story.
"You can't be too careful wherever you go," says Timothy Magoun, out shopping Wednesday evening. "Something like that, you wouldn't even guess."
The Orange County Sheriff's Department is trying to track down the person who planted a small camera inside a branch of the clothing chain the Gap.
The tiny device was discovered by a female employee who was changing inside one of the dressing rooms over the weekend.
Investigators say the small camera resembled a thumb drive. It was inserted into a picture frame that displayed ads on the wall, then covered with black tape to match the frame.
"We are not sure at this stage of the investigation, how long the camera was in there, or how many images are on there," said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
In a written statement, Gap Inc. told NBC4 News that customer and employee safety is a top priority for the clothing chain.
"We at Gap Inc. were concerned by the discovery in our Mission Viejo Gap store, and immediately notified law enforcement to ensure a prompt investigation. We conduct privacy assurance audits of our stores, and have intensified these audits in the surrounding stores. We believe this to be an unfortunate and isolated incident,” the statement read in part.
Some shoppers were shocked when they learned of the camera's discovery.
"People should frankly make sure that their environment when they're completely naked should be a comfortable and safe environment," said shopper Moe Rock.
The camera has been sent to a lab so that investigators can learn more.