Posted on 8th Dec 2011 @ 11:51 AM
Tony Roberts, an employee at a popular East Side Coffee Shop in Rhode Island, has been arrested for the installation of a hidden camera inside of the shop’s bathroom. We guess we should say “former employee.”
Coffee Exchange, the popular coffee house at which Tony Roberts worked and placed the camera, has been on Wickenden Street for almost 30 years. It is a staple in the community, and is particularly popular with the college crowd. One of the owners has been quoted as saying that this incident is a "terrible thing to happen to such a good place."
At this point, it remains unclear just how long the camera was in place inside of the popular coffee house. It was discovered this past Friday by Courtney Mitchell, a Rhode Island School of Design student. She discovered the hidden camera inside the bathroom on a routine stop for a nice pick me up. She says: "As I walked in something fell from under the sink. I noticed it was a camera in a little plastic case that had a little cut out for the camera.”
Mitchell could not fully examine the camera at that moment; she had prior engagements to which she needed to tend. She took the small device home with her and examined it more thoroughly, taking the time to watch all of the recorded data. After reviewing the data, she immediately contacted the police and said the following:
"You know it’s like you can see everything; little boys come in, old men, everyone walks in. It was really disturbing, kind of lost faith in humanity for a minute. I just imagine if my kids went in there, I'd be pretty upset.”
As with nearly all other hidden camera cases, the perpetrator, Tony Roberts, caught himself on camera as he was setting up the camera, making it very easy for him to be identified. The police arrested him immediately under charges of video voyeurism, which is the illegal and secretive recording of something that is meant to be graphic or sexual.
"We were shocked, shocked and horrified at something like this, you can never expect something like this happening," said Charlie Fishbein, Coffee Exchange president. Many Coffee Exchange customers have decided to remain loyal to their favorite coffee house and to show their support, with the sentiment that the popular coffee house is not as fault; they just hired one bad employee.
"I’d definitely would go back. It's good coffee,” says Mitchell.
The arresting police confiscated Roberts’ computer, memory storage devices, as well as other equipment to use as evidence. As mention earlier, there is no telling how long the camera had been in place before Mitchell discovered it, but the official police report should tell. Roberts’ bosses called him a good employee who had been working with the company for a few years. But that does not really hold true any more, not after an event such as this.
Needless to say, Roberts is facing felony charges and has been fired from his position at Coffee Exchange.
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