Peepholes in Sears' bathrooms??

An article on Courthouse News Service site yesterday described a recent California lawsuit that contained some allegations about very, very creepy activities at a North Hollywood Sears Store. A number of plaintiffs are alleging that a Sears maintenance man installed dozens of spy cameras and peepholes in fitting rooms and bathrooms and uploaded the captured photos to the internet. And this practice apparently went on for several years.

The maintenance man, Alejandro Gamiz, was hired by Sears in 2005. According to the complaint he began creating peep holes in 2009. The complaint also alleges some photos were uploaded to some weird peepeing tom website. Importantly, the complaint alleges that Gamiz had an extensive history of similar activity, and had been caught and “treated” for his issues before being hired by Sears. If accurate, and the details regarding prior activity were available to Sears through an ordinary background check, that history is going to represent a problem for Sears.

The complaint also alleges some behavior by Gamiz that should have stirred some curiosity on the part of Sears, such as a) performing frequent maintenance in the women’s fitting area and bathroom when none had been requested; b) building passageways behind the women’s restrooms; c) spending HOURS in air ducts and crawl spaces; d) maintaining multiple video cameras in his work area, even though he didn’t need them for his job; and e) entering the women’s fitting area on a daily basis, without tools – all of which was captured on Sears own security cameras. But, it seems that no one at Sears found any of this the least bit curious. That lack of curiosity will also likely be a problem for Sears.

The plaintiffs are alleging that Gamiz’ various acts were made possible by his employment at Sears. That allegation is important, and if borne out by the evidence, will keep Sears in the case as a defendant. And having Sears[and its deep pockets] in the case means that the plaintiffs won’t have to worry about funding any settlement or judgment. Lots of questions to be answered before this one gets resolved, but if most of the allegations in the complaint are accurate, this one never sees a courtroom.