How Some Creeps Use Adjoining Hotel Rooms to Spy on Victims

Even though the doors may be locked, some cameras might be able to fit under the slot below the door.

Several instances of peeping toms using adjoining hotel rooms and hidden cameras to spy on victims during their stay have experts advising people on steps they can take to protect themselves. One alleged example of this type of crime recently played out on a chilling 911 call and police body cam footage.

“There is someone with a camera next to our door and they have it underneath the door, like looking at us,” a woman said on the 911 call. “I'm really scared because I don't know who is next door to us.”

When police responded, they went into the next room and found Robert Privette, a 49-year-old father of three and a defense contractor specializing in communications systems. He said he was staying at the DoubleTree Hotel in Key West on a project for the Coast Guard.

At first, he denied knowing anything, but then broke down once the officer confronted him.

“This is your opportunity right now, is there anything going on in this room that I have to worry about, because I will be ripping this room apart,” the officer said.

Privette pulled out a spy camera which he had hidden in a seat cushion. When asked how many times he has done this before, Privette told the officer, “Maybe 8 or 10 times.” He was arrested and charged with video voyeurism.

Inside Edition found hotel room peepers are a problem all around the country.

ln Scottsdale, Arizona, 21-year-old Anthony Horvath pleaded guilty to voyeurism for spying on two girls in their hotel room with his cell phone camera. Outside San Francisco, a 30-year-old man was charged for disorderly conduct. Cops say he used a camera to spy on women under the door of an adjoining room, just like Privette.

Hidden camera expert, Joe Van Demark, told Inside Edition that hotel guests should be wary of adjoining rooms. He said that even though the doors may be locked, an endoscope camera might be able to slip under the slot below the door.

“Since you are not paying attention, you wouldn't know it’s like a little snake,” he said.

Van Demark advises people to do the hand test — if you can fit your fingers under the door, you could also get a camera under there, too. Then, put something there to block the space, such as a bathroom towel.

In a statement, DoubleTree Key West told Inside Edition, "The safety and security of our guests and associates is a top priority. The hotel immediately responded and authorities are investigating this isolated incident with no ongoing concern for our guests." 

They directed inquiries to the Key West Police Department.