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Starbucks 'Peeping Tom' investigated in stalking case

May 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The man suspected of installing a hidden camera at a Starbucks in Glendora is also being investigated in a stalking case.

Police say William Velasco may be the man who followed a local college student for several days before breaking into her apartment and stealing underwear.

The 25-year-old is already facing a misdemeanor charge after police found a hidden camera disguised as part of a coat hook in the Glendora Starbucks store at 1832 E. Route 66. Authorities say it was for sexual gratification.

It was only up for two days - April 14 and 15 - before a manager discovered the device and alerted police. They have identified more than 40 victims so far, but police said it did not appear any of the content had been distributed or uploaded to the Internet.

Police say he captured 45 victims on camera, including some children.

State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents California's 59th Assembly District, is proposing legislation to make this type of crime a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

"This is the ability to actually invade somebody's privacy and steal their dignity," he said.

When authorities searched the suspect's home, they say they found women's used underwear stashed in individual plastic bags. Authorities say Velasco then confessed to stalking a college student, breaking into her apartment and stealing her underwear and her roommate's underwear.

Detectives are working on charging the suspect with several felonies.

"The evidence so far displays a clear escalation, and like many other criminals, and particularly in terms of sexual crimes, when you see escalations quickly like this, it never leads to anything positive," said Glendora Police Chief Rob Castro.

Velasco is currently free on $50,000 bail.

If any female believes she may be a victim of Velasco's hidden camera at Starbucks, contact the Investigations Bureau of the Glendora Police Department at (626) 914-8250.

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