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Employee fired after hidden camera found in Casita Taqueria bathroom

The courtyard outside at Casita Taqueria at 2663 Central Ave. in St Petersburg. [DIRK SHADD | Times file photo ]
Thursday 2 August 2018 12.04

ST. PETERSBURG — A male employee was fired from the Casita Taqueria location on Central Avenue after a hidden camera police believe was planted in a restroom was discovered Saturday night.

An employee cleaning the restroom discovered the camera when she saw herself on a cell phone, which was recording in real time. She then discovered the camera, St. Petersburg Police spokesperson Sandra Bentil said.

Owners Don and Gwen Arwin, who own a second location on Fourth Street, said they contacted the police immediately and fired the person they say planted the camera.

Bentil said the investigation is ongoing but so far, police believe there is only one victim, whom they are trying to identify. She said they will soon release a photo of the victim’s tattoo on social media to try to make contact.

"Very clearly the camera was being used to video," Bentil said.

Gwen Arwin said the discovery was devastating and that she is in shock.

"This is someone we worked with every day," she said. "Obviously the employee was like family. It was like if you told me that Santa Claus put a hidden camera in the bathroom."

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Arwin said the vitriol on social media has been difficult on the employees.

"We’re a family owned business, this stuff affects us," she said. "One person did something horrible and you’ve eaten with us for seven years and now you’re not going to eat with us."

Police are asking anyone with information to call (727) 893-7780.


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