Coat hooks are a pretty versatile tool. They can hold clothes, your umbrella, your headphones, your keychain – the list goes on.
As innovative as they are, they’re not exactly an item you’d imagine could be used for something creepy and illegal, right?
I certainly never thought of them in that light – until I discovered this piece of news.
Some coat hooks are actually high-tech cameras that criminals use to spy on people in restrooms and hotel rooms.
Reports have emerged of such devices being found in hotel rooms, women’s change rooms and bathrooms.
Three instances were recently reported in the state of Florida. MCSO detectives reported:
“In all three incidents, miniature cameras hidden in coat hooks were found mounted on the walls in the women’s restrooms. They were found at Anne’s Beach on May 26th, the Circle K Store at the 99.8 mile marker of Highway U.S. One on May 28th and in the women’s bathroom at Harry Harris Park in Tavernier [on May 31].”
In 2011 in Kansas, another clothing hook camera was found in the change room of a YMCA after a woman accidentally knocked it to the floor and realized what it was.
Investigators of that incident say there was an adhesive on the back of the hook.
“The device is not something that would stand out,” Lt. Randy Reynolds of the Wichita Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit said. “They could be in changing rooms anywhere.”
What’s really scary is that these devices can be bought dirt cheap, with ease.
Here’s one example on Amazon that costs less than $20. Here’s another you can buy for under $50. The company even promotes their product by saying “No one will suspect a clothes hook of concealing a camera.”
The hooks support MicroSD cards that can record up to 16 gigabytes of HD footage over 2 hours.
I can see how this would be useful to place in your office if you were convinced somebody was stealing from you. But far more people are using them to be perverted and spy on unsuspecting women and children.
So how do you spot one?
It’s actually quite easy to notice one of these devices if you know what you’re looking for. They look like simple plastic coat hooks – except that they have got a very small hole in the top portion. That’s the lens.
Some will even have a button on the side to activate the motion detection feature. Others will have a light that will be painfully easy to see if the coat hook is white, but tricky to spot if the hook is black