INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — A Blue Springs man faces second degree invasion of privacy charges after he allegedly took video and pictures of minors in dressing rooms at area Kohl's and Walmart stores.
According to authorities, a Blue Springs woman told police her child was trying on clothes when she noticed a man leaning under the dressing stall with his phone taking pictures—and after further investigation, police say that wasn't the only incident.
"Oh I'd probably murder somebody," says Dana Jordan, a regular Kohl's customer.
"As a shopper, you need to kind of be aware of these things and watch out for yourself," says Sue Gaddy, another frequent customer of the Kohl's at 39th street and Arrowhead avenue in Independence.
They both say hearing about 20-year-old Skylar Ware being charged with taking video and pictures of minors in the dressing rooms is extremely disturbing.
"In a perfect world none of that would be happening, but realistically, we know it does," adds Gaddy.
According to court documents, on June 30th Ware was taking pictures of a 14-year-old girl trying on clothes in the dressing room. When the victim's mom noticed, she yelled "Are you kidding me?" and says Ware immediately left.
"I Don`t want that happening to my kids.I can imagine what the parents are going through," Jordan says.
Police say they got video of Ware from the store system, and say they recognized him as the same guy who had been caught doing the same thing a year or two ago
"I'm sure there are a lot more people out there that would choose to make those kind of bad decisions, so it just means you have to be vigilant," Gaddy says.
After gathering enough evidence, including having the victim's mother choose him in a line-up, Ware was arrested and charged.
"I trust Kohls, and I trust the city of Independence to be on top of it," says Gaddy.
Court documents say Ware admitted he had taken pictures and videos of women without their knowledge in the Blue Springs Walmart, Independence Walmart, and the Independence Kohl's on several occasions.
"Yeah, it bothers me," says Gaddy.
"I definitely will take better precautions about that," Jordan adds.
Police say they found 34 pictures and five videos on Ware's cell phone. There were pictures of different women, including an image depicting a nude female child approximately two years old.
"I think it`s a real plus he`s been caught," says Gaddy.
"They don`t need to be out there," adds Jordan.
The police and prosecutors office say this case is still under investigation. On Friday, Kohl's corporate office gave FOX 4 the following statement about the alleged incidents and arrest:
"A police investigation is under way, and we cooperating with the authorities. All media inquiries are being directed to the police."
Corporate representatives for Walmart also released a statement on Friday:
“We take the safety and security of our customers seriously and we work closely with law enforcement to prevent incidents like this from happening in our stores.”