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News

Ex-Clothing Store Employee Charged With Recording Women In Dressing Rooms

Heriberto Polanco
Heriberto Polanco Photo Credit: Westchester County DA

An accused Peeping Tom is facing a host of charges for allegedly recording videos of women in dressing rooms when he worked at a clothing store in Westchester.

Bronx resident Heriberto Polanco, 27, was charged in a 48-count indictment for recording videos of unsuspecting customers while he was still employed at Forever 21 in the Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers.

Specifically, Polanco was charged with 24 counts each of unlawful surveillance by using or installing an imaging device for amusement or profit and using an imaging device for no legitimate purposes.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. said that at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Aug. 28 last year, a customer was trying on clothes in a fitting room at Forever 21 when she found a cell phone resting on a sneaker outside the room with the camera lens aimed at her.

Scarpino said that the girl began screaming and calling for her 13-year-old sister, who had been waiting just outside the dressing rooms. Her sister saw a man, later identified as Polanco, running out of the dressing rooms after hearing the scream.

The police were called and Polanco was identified as a suspect. He was later taken into custody and identified by the victim’s sister during the investigation.

On Sept. 10 last year, Scarpino said that Polanco was questioned by police in Yonkers, at which point he admitted to placing his phone under the victim’s dressing room stall and attempting to record her changing.

Polanco also admitted to recording others while working at Forever 21 without their permission.

The investigation led to the seizure of Polanco’s cell phone determined that no photos or video was captured during the Aug. 28 incident, but that the camera was on during the incident.

Further investigation found that Polanco used a mobile app called "Gallery Vault," which is used to secretly store photos and videos on a phone. Forensics experts recovered 23 surreptitious videos of women from Polanco’s phone and determined all to have been taken at Forever 21 from March 2019 through September 2019.

Following his arraignment, Polanco was released and scheduled to appear in court in January 2021.

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