Worker Accused of Filming Women Changing in Lower Hudson Valley
A man working at a clothing store in the Mid-Hudson Region is accused of recording a number of women changing.
On Wednesday, 27-year-old Heriberto Polanco of the Bronx was indicted on 48 counts for allegedly recording videos of unknowing customers in the Forever 21 dressing rooms in the Cross County Shopping Center store in Yonkers. Polanco was an employee of the store at the time.
Polanco was arraigned Wednesday in Westchester County Court. He was indicted on Sept. 30 by a Westchester County Grand Jury on the following charges:
- 24 counts of Unlawful Surveillance 2: Use/Install Imaging Device for Amusement/Profit, class E felony
- 24 counts of Unlawful Surveillance 2: Use Imaging Device for No Legitimate Purpose, class E felony
On Aug. 28, 2019, around 7:15 p.m., a victim was trying on clothes in a fitting room at Forever 21 in the Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers when she observed a cell phone resting on a sneaker just outside her fitting room with the camera lens aimed up into her dressing room, officials say. The victim started screaming and immediately called out to her 13-year-old sister who had been waiting just outside the dressing rooms. The victim's sister saw a man, identified as Polanco, a Forever 21 employee, running out of the dressing rooms, according to Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr.
On Sept. 10, 2019, Polanco was questioned by Yonkers Police and admitted to placing his phone under the victim's dressing room stall and attempting to record her changing in and out of clothes, police say. Polanco also allegedly admitted to recording other female customers in the dressing rooms of Forever 21 without their permission during August 2019.
A search warrant was obtained for his cell phone. Forensics experts recovered 23 clearly secret videos of women from the defendant's phone and determined all to have been taken at Forever 21 from March 2019 through September 2019, officials say.
Following arraignment, Polanco was released on his own recognizance. His next court date is scheduled for January 2021.