TikTok video helps woman spot hidden camera in bathroom: PA cop

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A TikTok video warned women against hidden cameras disguised as charging pads, police said.

PA

When a woman showed up for her private dance class, she said the instructor provided her with clothes and asked her to try them on in the home studio bathroom, according to Pennsylvania police.

But like she was changing in the toilet on Aug. 16, she spotted what appeared to be a cellphone charging pad plugged into an outlet, according to the Norristown Police Department.

Having already seen a TikTok video warning women about hidden cameras disguised as charging pads, she decided to investigate, police say. A search for “hidden camera in charger box” on TikTok displays videos with hundreds of millions of views.

“The victim confirmed that the charging pad was, in fact, a pinhole camera, removed the data card that had just captured her changing and turned it over to the Norristown Police Department,” a statement said. August 24 press release.

Francis Gerarn Laurenzi was arrested, and while executing a search warrant at the unlicensed dance studio, authorities seized several electronic and media storage devices.

Police found 146 video files as far back as 2020, and there would be at least 20 casualties, according to WPVI.

The 37-year-old dance teacher is charged with invasion of privacy and use of criminal instruments, the outlet reported, with more charges expected.

Police believe they could find more victims as investigators continue to restore and review records.

To identify the victims, police are asking anyone who has taken dance lessons at “FG Dance Academy” – also “Frankie G Dance” – to call the Criminal Investigations Division at 610-270-0491. The studio operated in the basement of 1705 Kendrick Lane with instructor “Frankie G.”

Norristown is about 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Kaitlyn Alanis is a McClatchy national real-time reporter based in Kansas. She is an alumnus of agricultural communication and journalism at Kansas State University.


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