Police say a 55-year-old Florida man allegedly took advantage of a friend’s trust by spying on her and her family.
It started when a Tampa woman allowed the man, Terry Sumner, full access to her home to watch the residence while she was out of town, according to WFTS.
The “family friend” was given the Wi-Fi password and entrance codes to the gate, garage, and alarm system.
While in the home, Sumner installed a spy camera into an outlet in an area where the woman often undressed.
He watched his friend and her family using his smartphone, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement:
“He admitted to placing the spy camera in the victim’s home and to having the camera there for approximately one year. Sumner explained that there was a smartphone application on his phone that he would use to watch, listen and record activity in the victim’s home through a live feed.”
The woman didn’t find the camera until March 5 and was unsure what the device was, according to WTOP.
She contacted her internet provider and discovered that the camera was connected to her Wi-Fi, which she was unaware of.
The camera was brought to the police, who connected it to Sumner.
Authorities searched the 55-year-old’s home on Tuesday and found hundreds of videos from inside the home on his phone. They also made another disturbing discovery.
Sumner had “numerous pictures of child pornography” on his phone. The children in the photos were under 11 years old and known by the man, police said.
He has since been charged with one count of interception of wire, oral or electronic communications for the spy camera.
Sumner was additionally charged with 24 counts of manufacturing child pornography, 24 counts of possession of child pornography, one count of capital sexual battery, one count of lewd and lascivious molestation force or enticing, and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition.
His bond was set at $987,500.
If you’re concerned about hidden camera devices in your home, there are multiple methods to detect them.
Some apps for mobile devices can detect them using the phone camera. However, the reliability can be hit or miss.
Hidden camera detectors work well but can cost anywhere from $20 up to around $200, according to KTAR.
But overall, it’s best to monitor who comes in and out of your home to ensure cameras can’t be installed without your knowledge in the first place.