A small video camera found inside a bathroom at a Stater Bros grocery store in Cathedral City led to the arrest of one-time registered sex offender suspected of placing similar cameras in bathrooms across the Coachella Valley, authorities said.
Cathedral City Police officers responded to the Stater Bros at 69244 Ramon Road on Monday after store staff located a video camera in one of the store's public single-occupancy bathrooms.
Officers determined that a “small, covert camera” had been affixed inside the bathroom, “for the purpose of illegal video monitoring (and) surveillance,'' according to the department.
Local news from across Southern California
Through unspecified methods, police determined that Jason Pomare, 41, of Desert Hot Springs, had placed the recording device in the bathroom.
Pomare was arrested at his home in the 13000 Block of Eliseo Road at about 5:50 p.m. Police said officers found several items at the residence linking Pomare to the crime.
According to police, Pomare was previously a registered sex offender in California due to an unspecified sex crime, but he is no longer required to register.
Police said Pomare is suspected of placing similar cameras in unspecified bathrooms across the Coachella Valley. Police are in the process of contacting the affected restaurants, which were not publicly identified.
Pomare was booked at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta. He remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail and is tentatively scheduled to be arraigned at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on Friday.
According to court records, Pomare does not have any felony convictions in Riverside County.