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A JCPenney's employee allegedly told police he planted his cell phone in the women's bathroom and recorded videos – so he could make sure his co-workers were doing their jobs.
Marco Bartolon-Velasquez, 26, of Delray Beach, now stands charged of video voyeurism.
Authorities discovered something was wrong just after 9 a.m. Monday, shortly after the West Palm Beach store's Loss Prevention Office walked into the bathroom, according to a West Palm Beach Police arrest report.
The woman looked up at the ceiling and noticed someone had dislodged the ceiling fan, creating a space between where the fan would normally be affixed to drywall, the report says.
She looked closer. What she found startled her.
"[The woman] discovered there was a black cellular phone lodged in between the exhaust fan and the drywall, cantered down at an angle, with its camera aiming toward the bathroom toilets," the report says.
The woman climbed up a ladder and grabbed the phone. It was recording.
A short time later, an officer slipped on rubber gloves and examined the phone, noting that the language was set to Spanish and locked with a password. The phone had a signal, its battery half dead.
The officer then asked the woman who she thought could have planted the phone.
Focusing on the store's Spanish-speaking employees, the woman came up with one name – Raphael Dieguez.
An officer then called the phone number attached to Dieguez's file. The cell phone found in the bathroom began ringing.
A detective found Dieguez in the stock room, where he agreed to talk.
The first thing Dieguez told police was that "Raphael Dieguez" wasn't his real name. It was his brother's name. He only used it, the report says, for "employment purposes."
"He had been in the country illegally for a total of four years," an officer wrote in the report.
His real name was Marco Antonio Bartolon-Velasquez.
He initially denied owning the phone and claimed he had found it a week earlier, but he said he never used it. He said he couldn't explain how the phone got there.
Bartolon-Velasquez then admitted that he used a 6-foot ladder to climb to the ceiling and plant the phone – only to keep tabs on store employees. It's not known what job he held at the store.
"He went on to say that he had only done it today to monitor how well his employees were cleaning," the report says.
Bartolon-Velasquez then claimed he had been taping the employees since Christmas of 2011. But when detectives asked if he ever used the videos to correct employees work, he said "no."
He also denied ever sharing the videos with anyone else.
When detectives asked if he ever put the camera in the men's bathroom, he laughed.
"No," he said.
Staff researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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