At least eight women, and one man, were secretly video-recorded inside two popular Pennsylvania store dressing rooms earlier this month, authorities said.
Two tiny, hidden devices were recovered from the fitting rooms of stores at King of Prussia Mall in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, according to Upper Merion Township police.
Initially, police said a 14-year-old girl found a tiny pen with a covert camera inside a fitting room at Hollister's store. Victims were filmed undressing, police said. The pen was in plain sight, police said, but the girl allegedly noticed a tiny video-screen at one end of the pen.
An alleged suspect was confirmed to be at the King of Prussia Mall on July 3, police said.
The pen was given to store management, police said. Investigators then reviewed video allegedly taken by a suspect. Law enforcement authorities were able to identify victims by reviewing the alleged "private" recordings, police said.
Police do not think that the miniature hard drives from the electronic devices were ever accessed by anyone, including a prime suspect, they said.
Joseph Stevenson, 26, of Smyrna, Delaware, has been charged with invasion of privacy and several other criminal offenses as the primary suspect, according to police, and multiple news media reports.
Stevenson has been arraigned, police said. The suspect was released after posting $10,000 bail, authorities said, and allegedly admitted to at least one of the video-recorded sessions.
Stevenson had no ability to access the data stored on the devices, at least remotely, police said.
Upper Merion Police Chief Thomas Nolan said the first -- and then second -- covert camera pens, were initially recovered by mall authorities and immediately turned over to law enforcement.
The suspect allegedly used a tiny pen to film people changing in two separate store dressing rooms at the mall owned by major developer Simon Co., according to Upper Merion police.
Some of the now-confirmed incidents occurred over the Fourth of July weekend, triggering an extensive multi-agency investigation, police said.
Police said Stevenson has admitted placing a second pen with a hidden camera inside a fitting room at Urban Outfitters. At least two women were secretly recorded at Urban Outfitters, police confirmed.
The pens were retrieved before the accused suspect viewed, saved or shared any images of nine confirmed shoppers, Nolan said.
The suspect is barred from contacting any victims, authorities said, must stay away from all stores and shopping malls.
Suspected victims have been notified by police after the video-footage was reviewed by investigators.
This is an ongoing investigation, police said.
The suspect allegedly has done this before, according to police, but no other details were immediately available.
Police were notified by mall authorities after the teenage girl found the first hidden device on July 3. The young victim found that pen in a Hollister store dressing room, police said.
While the official, public law enforcement disclosure did not come until Friday, the alleged incidents have been tracked back to Independence Day weekend, Upper Merion police said.
This is a developing news story.
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