Crime & Courts

Store manager used hidden camera to spy on customers in restroom, NC cops say

A North Carolina man was charged with six felony counts of secret peeping.
A North Carolina man was charged with six felony counts of secret peeping.

A North Carolina man was arrested after the hidden camera he allegedly used to spy on people in the bathroom was discovered, the Black Mountain Police Department said.

Robert Thomas Orr was charged Friday with six counts of felony secret peeping, police said in a news release shared on Facebook. Police said Orr used an electronic device to spy on people in another room, according to the news release.

The room in question was a public women’s restroom at Black Mountain Stove & Chimney, where a spy camera was discovered behind an air filter, the Citizen Times reported.

The 71-year-old Orr is the manager of the store, per WLOS. According to its website, Black Mountain Stove & Chimney is “a family owned company” that sells wood and gas chimneys and stoves, and is about 15 miles east of Asheville.

Arrest warrants show the camera was found May 23 by a “female victim” after she heard an iPad ping with a motion detection alert, and a look at the tablet revealed about 50 pictures of her in the bathroom, including a number where she was “partially naked while using the toilet,” according to the Citizen Times.

Arrest warrants say Orr’s voyeuristic actions were “to gratify his sexual desires,” WLOS reported.

The investigation was launched May 30, and Orr turned himself in to Buncombe County officials, police said in the news release.

Officials said Orr owns multiple properties, including some rental units, and an investigation of the iPad showed one of the “peeping images” is of a tenant, per the Citizen Times.

A Carnival crew member inspects a hidden camera found by a Florida family behind their stateroom TV. The family discovered the device, which appeared to have a long-range transmitter, on the Carnival Fantasy sailing from Alabama in October.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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