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“Upskirting” case prompts warning from Chesterfield Police

CHESTERFIELD, MO - It's an all-too-familiar disturbing scenario: a phone used to record videos of women in public places.

A recent incident allegedly took place at a store in west St. Louis County.

Surveillance cameras show a man entering a sunglasses store. At one point, he appears to turn on his phone and record video up the skirt of a sales clerk.

"He began to try to walk behind her and he bent over, with the camera still on. She saw that and she immediately got a little freaked out, for obvious reasons, so she walked away and the person turned off their camera at that point," Chesterfield Sgt. Keith Rider said.

The case was presented to the St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office but charges were not filed.

"Every case is different. This particular case was a hard one," Rider said.

Still, the case serves as a reminder to be mindful of surroundings, he said.

Several similar cases in the St. Louis area underscore that point.

A man was charged with taking photos under the skirts of women who worked at Florissant City Hall.

In a separate case, hidden cameras were found inside bathrooms at a business in St. Charles, and inside a church bathroom in Troy, Missouri.

And there are likely more cases that have gone unreported.

"The problem is, a lot of times, somebody will never know it happened. They just aren't aware of their surroundings. And it's very easy to take video or pictures these days, with all the technology," Rider said.

He said it is key to take into consideration the possibility that photos and videos can be taking at virtually any location.

"Especially the females, be aware of your surroundings. If something doesn't feel right, walk away from the situation," he said. "Be it cameras, be it just a strange-looking person, anything like that."