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Reports of Peeping Tom — Complaint: Suspect took changing room photos

NEDERLAND — Southeast Texas might have a serial peeper on the loose.

On Dec. 10, a complaint was made of a male taking improper photos or video of a woman at Booster Buddies in the 3400 block of Nederland Avenue.

The woman said while she was in the store’s changing room she noticed someone held his phone under the door.

A woman posted a matching story on Facebook the same day the crime was reported. The post has been edited for grammar:

“I ask everyone to please, please be aware of your surroundings,” the post reads. “I was at a thrift store on Nederland Ave. I don’t know what it’s called, but I was trying on some pants and when I bent down to pick my pants up, I saw a camera. It seems he had been taking pics of me. I wasn’t able to catch who he was, but I got his license plate number, and they pulled a pic of him on the cameras. Please be aware of your surrounding at all times!”

District Attorney Bob Wortham said he had not received the case from Nederland police as of Thursday. However, Wortham said the man suspected of taking the photos and/or videos may be involved in a similar incident in Port Arthur. NPD is waiting for the store to turn over their surveillance footage, Wortham said.

Booster Buddies declined to comment.

PAPD said they have not had any recent issues with suspect, but did have a case against him for a similar incident in 2017. A spokesperson for the department said the outcome was unknown.

NPD detective Chase Romero, who is leading the investigation in Nederland, said this is the first incident of this kind he has investigated.

“I’m sure, with the technology the way it is, it happens and people don’t know it or it doesn’t go reported,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of clothing stores (in Nederland) so it’s less likely to happen. People have to be aware of their surroundings, especially with everyone having a camera with them at all times.

“It’s unfortunate.”

Under the Texas Penal Code, invasive visual recording is a state jail felony. The law specifically mentions as a crime taking/transmitting the visual image or video of another person in “a bathroom or changing room.”