Now, the Allen Park Police Department is searching for a suspect.
The small camera is about as large as a ball-point pen, and it was found on the underside of a toilet lid in the women’s bathroom. The camera is equipped with WiFi.
“It’s made for concealment, the pen gives you an idea as to its size,” the department wrote, adding that it’s about $60. “This was found in the restroom at Starbucks over the weekend. Staff was cleaning the restroom and found it attached to the underside of the toilet lid. It appears the camera had only recently been placed.”
The lens at the end of the cable was also “difficult to notice,” the department stated.
Police also released video footage from the camera, showing people walking out of the restroom.
Camera found hidden under toilet seat in bathroom at Allen Park Starbucks https://t.co/uzkccnwHvY
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) June 4, 2019
“If you open the lid, it was attached to the bottom of the lid. If the lid was closed you couldn’t see it,” Detective James Thorburn told ClickonDetroit.
He said that the camera does stream live, adding there was an SD card in it.
“We believe this was streaming to an offsite, or someone in the parking lot,” Thorburn said.
A customer reacted to the finding in the news report.
“I’m really just, like, disturbed by that because I go to the Starbucks all of the time,” Crystal Wilson, the customer, told ClickOnDetroit.
“Somebody needs help. They are sick and they need to be put in jail. It makes me think, like, where else around here, these people put these cameras? It’s scary and now I’m going to be looking in every direction when I go to the bathroom in all of these stores,” Wilson added.
Starbucks issued a statement about the matter to Fox News.
“Our partners (employees) immediately contacted the police after making this disturbing discovery, working swiftly to ensure the safety of our customers and partners, as well as the security of our store. As a part of store operations, we regularly monitor the seating areas and restroom in order to identify potential safety or security concerns,” Starbucks’ statement read.
Other details about the incident are not clear.
The finding harks back to news reports in 2015 when a woman found a camera in a Starbucks in Lancaster, California.
The unnamed woman’s 5-year-old son saw the camera. “I noticed he was staring at the sink a little bit perplexed. I asked him what was wrong and he said, ‘Mommy, why is there a phone under there?’” she said, per KTLA.
“It’s such a violation of privacy,” she said. “Not only of mine, but my son.”
A police spokesperson, Lt. Joseph Fender, said the camera was on and was recording video. “The deputies discovered that the cellphone was running in a video-recording motion,” he said. “They were able to get some type of surveillance video from the location, however I don’t know what the contents of the video are at this time.”