A Desert Hot Springs man was arrested on Monday for allegedly installing a hidden camera in the bathroom of a Cathedral City supermarket, as well as several the bathrooms of several other unnamed area businesses, according to the Cathedral City Police Department.
On Monday, CCPD officers responded to the Stater Bros. located at 69255 Ramon Road in Cathedral City for a report of a video camera found in the store's public bathroom. The officers, along with members of the Stater Bros. Corporate security team determined that the "small, covert camera" had been installed for the purpose of illegal video monitoring/surveillance, according to CCPD.
Further investigation led to the identification of a suspect, 41-year-old Jason Pomare of Desert Hot Springs.
CCPD Detectives then responded to Pomare's residence on the 13000 block of Eliseo Road in Desert Hot Springs and arrested him at 5:51 p.m., according to county jail records.
Currently, investigators have identified additional locations, restaurants and retail establishments, which have been targeted by Pomare and where similar cameras have been utilized in bathrooms for "conducting illegal surveillance of adults and children." The targeted businesses have been notified and are cooperating with the investigation, but were not listed in the CCPD news release.
Investigators are still searching for other locations that may have been targeted.
"CCPD Detectives are actively working this case and have determined there are other retail and restaurant establishments throughout the Coachella Valley where similar cameras have been utilized - by the suspect - for the purpose of conducting illegal surveillance of adults and children inside public restrooms," read the CCPD news release. "The other known businesses are being notified and are cooperating with law enforcement, while the investigation continues."
CCPD detectives are urging local business owners to check their public areas, not just bathrooms and changing rooms, to "verify the safety of their customers and employees."
No information has been released about additional cameras being discovered at the time of this publication.
Pomare was previously convicted of a sex crime in California and mandated to register as a sex offender, however, "his commitment to register has been completed", according to CCPD.
According to county jail records, Pomare is being held at the Southwest Detention Center on $1,000,000 bail.
He faces 13 misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct - illegal video recording in a public restroom and 11 felony counts of being a repeat offender of the above-mentioned crime.
It is unclear at this time how long ago the camera was installed in the store's restroom.
Pomare, a former Palmdale resident, was arrested on May 11, 2013 after he was caught recording women in a Macy' restroom at the Antelope Valley Mall while dressed as a woman, according to KCAL.
Pomare had used a video camera installed in a bag during the 2013 crimes. When deputies took Pomare into custody in 2013, he was wearing a wig, dress, and padded bra.
"He was secretly and covertly videotaping women while they were using the restroom," LA County Sheriff's Sgt. Brian Hudson told KABC in 2013. "It appears he had been in the restroom for about two hours before he was noticed. Over a span of two hours, we've got video of several women entering and exiting the restroom. The way the camera was positioned, it was positioned where it could record what was taking place in one of the bathroom stalls, and on a baby-changing table that is located in the restroom."
According to the Antelope Valley Times, Pomare pled guilty to six misdemeanor counts of unlawful use of a concealed camera for purposes of sexual gratification and one count of resisting arrest.
He was sentenced to five years summary probation, time-served (20 days in county jail), five years of sex-compulsion classes, was ordered to stay 200 yards away from the Antelope Valley Mall and required to register as a sex offender in accordance with Megan's Law.