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Durham man arrested for setting up hidden camera in tenant’s bathroom

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN)– A Durham man is facing a charge for secret peeping after his female tenant found a hidden camera in her bathroom.

According to authorities, Jason Allen Jones, 37, has been arrested and charged with secret peeping and using or installing a device at his home on Scheer Avenue off Sherron Road in Durham County.

According to a search warrant, the victim had been renting a room in the family’s home since May and she was helping Jones and his wife care for their children.

The warrant said the female victim was searching online for nanny cameras when she found a “clock camera” that was very similar to a clock in her bathroom.

When she went to check out the clock, she immediately became suspicious and started looking for more devices. She then came across a smoke detector in her bedroom that looked like it may have a hidden camera inside of it as well.

When authorities tried to obtain the clock camera from Jones, he told them he “threw it away” and he “wanted to get rid of it because he didn’t know it was a camera,” according to the search warrant.

When police went back to speak with Jones’ wife later, they were able to get the camera out of the dumpster.

Officials with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office said they did obtain some video from this camera and it has been handed over to the State Bureau of Investigation for analysis.

Brian Smith is the owner and CEO of Iwatch Security in Raleigh. He said more and more hidden pinhole cameras, also called covert cameras, are being manufactured and they do not look anything like a camera.

“There’s smoke detectors, there’s pencil sharpeners, and even teddy bears that are cameras,” Smith said.

He said that businesses or homeowners will purchase these for security purposes if they do not want potential thieves to realize cameras are there.

“It could be you’re dealing with theft or it could be you’re dealing with inappropriate things from employees,” Smith said.

Some of these cameras can stream weeks worth of video to DVRs and some are well under $50.

He said sometimes people can use them for the wrong reasons and that is why it is important to be on the look out if you happen to be renting a room or staying at an Airbnb.

“As technology becomes so inexpensive, it’s probably something we all need to be a little bit more on guard with,” Smith said.

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office said Jones was released from jail after receiving an unsecured bond.

His next court date is in December.

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