June 17, 2011
Wichita Police are investigating a hidden camera found at a Wichita YMCA.
Police say the camera was found on a 'changing room' door at the North branch of the YMCA located on north Woodlawn. The pin camera was attached to what appeared to be a coat hook which was attached to the door. Police say the camera was discovered when it fell off the door and someone went to pick it up. Police say it's a type of device that is commonly found for sale on the internet, generally for around $40.
"This device was not something that would stand out. It's unfortunate that the Y just happened to be the target of whoever put this in there but it's certainly something that could have shown up anywhere," said Lt. Randy Reynolds.
The device was discovered on June 6th. Investigators say it recorded images from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. that morning, but police don't know how long it was on the door. Officers wouldn't discuss what the images contained in the video but said there were not any explicit images of children.
"My biggest fear would be the child pornography because in the family locker rooms the kids are exposed completely," said YMCA member Melissa Milner.
The YMCA says it is educating members about the incident on its website, social media, and by posting signs. Staff is also making random and frequent sweeps of locker rooms and restrooms throughout the day. These checks are mandatory before children attending summer camp are allowed to enter places where changing generally occurs.
"The safety and privacy of our members is of top priority for us and we are doing everything we can to ensure their safety as we go through this and make sure this doesn't happen again," said Greater Wichita YMCA Communications Director Shelly Conrady.
Investigators are still trying to determine who put the device on the door. Anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers at 267-2111.
Investigators are also asking anyone who may have been in the changing room while the device was recording to contact them as they are still trying to identify the people involved.