Investigative

Room With a Viewer: Some Hotel Rooms Found to Have Hidden Cameras Installed, Investigation Finds


A Pennsylvania family was horrified when they say they discovered a hidden camera recording them in their hotel room... but are they the only ones being watched?

The Wallace family said they found a concealed recording device in their room at a Virginia Beach hotel over Memorial Day weekend.

Read: Dirty Bathrobe at Trump's New Hotel Not Washed Between Guests, Investigation Finds

Angela Wallace, her husband and 11-year-old daughter found the camera pointed at the shower during their stay at The Knights Inn and Suites.

“I knew it wasn’t supposed to be there," Angela told Inside Edition.

Police told them video was recovered from the camera so the Wallaces thought there'd be an arrest. But that was not the case.

"There is no information recovered from the device that could lead to criminal charges," police told Inside Edition. "The case has since been closed."

When Inside Edition’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero broke the news to the distraught mother, she responded, “Are you kidding me?!”

“I found a camera in my hotel room. My 11-year-old daughter was in front of it. I want to know why [the case] was closed," said the girl's father. 

Guerrero and the Inside Edition Investigative Team contacted a manager at the hotel. 

"There's a family in here that found a hidden camera in the bathroom on Memorial Day weekend," she said. "How could something like this have happened?"

“I wasn't here when that happened," the manager responded and walked away.

Jimmie Mesis, a debugging expert, specializes in finding hidden cameras. In the past, peeping Toms used holes in walls to spy on motel guests but now tiny cameras can be disguised in just about anything.

“People are bugging the hell out of each other and people don't even realize it,” he told Inside Edition.

In a demonstration,he showed how cameras can be concealed in a fan and other spots around a hotel room. There were four cameras pointing at the bed and three in the bathroom, including inside a coffee maker.

“Most people go into the room, go about their business and these items blend in,” he said.

When it comes to hotel voyeurs, Gerald Foos may be the world’s most notorious.

When Foos owned The Manor House Motel in Aurora, Colorado, he built a platform above the rooms and would spy on unsuspecting hotel guests through vents. He got away with it for decades and his wife, Anita, even joined in.

In an interview, Guerrero asked him how many people he spied on.

“I would say it would be thousands,” he said.

Read: Some Bed Sheets Are Not Changed Between Guests at Hotels, Investigation Finds

Guerrero also spoke with his wife. “Do you feel guilty now at all?” she asked.

“Somewhat, yes and no,” Anita replied.

Her husband even kept detailed notes about what he saw, which served as the basis for a new book, The Voyeur's Motel by Gay Talese.

“Gerald, are you a pervert?” Guerrero asked Foos.

“No, I don't believe I am,” he replied. “I believe that I am a sex researcher...I never started out thinking in my mind it was creepy. I thought it was voyeuristic and voyeurism.”

When asked if he felt bad for what he had done, he replied: “I guess you can say I don't.”

Debugging expert Jimmie Mesis of USAbugsweeps.com has the following tips:

1. Check vents for cameras, especially ones above the shower.
2. Shine a flashlight on suspicious objects. A camera lens will reflect light.
3. Look for any unusual objects plugged into the wall, like a flower pot.
4. Unplug coffee makers.
5. Disconnect alarm clocks and point them toward the wall.
6. Cover peepholes.
7. Place a towel under your hotel room door to make sure no one slips a camera underneath.
8. Don’t forget to check for cameras under the desk.

Watch: Are You Safe From Hotel Peeping Toms?

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