Grand County investigates hidden cameras in rentals
Authorities continue to investigate an incident from Dec. 11 in which hidden cameras were found in a home in rural Grand County rented to female employees of Winter Park Ski Resort through Craigslist.
Photos and videos retrieved from the home will be sent to a computer lab to be analyzed this week. Results should be back in a week or two, said Lt. Dan Mayer of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
The crime is unusual because no one knows who the people are in the pictures and video, he said.
Authorities began investigating Dec. 11 after a female county resident discovered what she believed to be a video camera in the carbon monoxide detector located in the bedroom of her rental house south of Granby. The woman told authorities she rented the room where the camera was found from a man who owned the home and advertised rooms for rent.
The woman said she noticed her carbon monoxide (CO) detector looked suspicious, and after closer examination believed it contained a camera.
A Grand County deputy examined the CO detector and found a small camera and an antenna hidden inside the detector casing.
Following the discovery, a search warrant was obtained for the rural home. During further searches of the residence, similar cameras were found in an additional guest/rental bedroom, and a camera was also found in the bathroom adjacent to the bedrooms designated for the renters.
The two cameras found in the bedrooms of the residence were located in fake CO detector/alarm systems. The camera discovered in the bathroom was located within the housing for a small fan. As part of their search, investigators also recovered laptop computers and other evidence from the residence.
The Sheriff’s Office believes there are multiple victims associated with the alleged crime based on video evidence. Some of the victims have been identified but there are several more victims they are working to identify.
Authorities are attempting to identify possible victims who may have rented rooms at the residence over the past several years. According to a press release, the suspect in the case advertised rooms for rent for women working at Winter Park Ski Resort. The rooms were advertised on the website Craigslist.
The sheriff’s office is working with the DA’s office to build a strong case.
“We can’t charge too quickly because other things can come up and we can’t charge the person twice,” Mayer said.
Many people have been calling Pam Perchiera, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office investigator, to find out if they are on the videos. She is using DMV photos to try to determine who is in the videos as part of her investigation.
Several Grand County residents have been calling the sheriff’s office to ask if it is illegal for homeowners who rent their homes to have video devices. It is legal to have them in common areas, but not in bedrooms and bathrooms, Mayer said. It is also legal to have cameras fixed on outside common areas.