Evanston Whole Foods Employee Accused Of Planting Camera In Bathroom

EVANSTON, IL — A Chicago man is accused of hiding a video recording device inside a bathroom at the downtown Evanston Whole Foods Market where he worked.

Darren Davis, 37, a resident of the Buena Park neighborhood, was arrested at the store Wednesday and charged with two counts of felony unauthorized video recording, authorities said.

One count accuses him of planting a camera in the store bathroom with the intent to record, a misdemeanor, and the other, a felony, with making a recording of a specific Whole Foods employee, Davis was told Friday at an initial court appearance.

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Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Collin Debrander said Evanston police got a call about a camera found in a unisex bathroom at the 1640 Chicago Ave. Whole Foods on March 23.

The recording device, which had been hidden inside a toilet paper dispenser, was discovered during cleaning, the prosecutor said.

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“Responding officers watched the footage captured by the camera and observed [Davis] placing the camera in the location where it was later found,” Debrander said.

A store manager identified Davis on the footage as an employee, according to the prosecutor. After Davis was taken into custody Wednesday, Debrander said officers found four “similar video recording devices” and additional memory cards in his backpack.

Darren Davis, 37, of the 4300 block of Kenmore, Chicago, was charged with two counts of unauthorized video recording.

“A warrant was obtained for the memory cards, which showed [Davis] recording an additional recording device in the bathroom and additional unknown victims using the bathroom,” Debrander said.

No information was immediately available from Evanston police representatives regarding when investigators believe Davis first planted devices in the bathroom or how many people he has recorded.

Davis, who has no criminal record, was released on his own recognizance on the condition he stay away from the Evanston Whole Foods and appear in court again April 22 for a preliminary hearing.

Depending on the circumstances of the recording, the offense of unauthorized video recording can range from a misdemeanor to a class 3 felony under Illinois law.

Davis has been banned from all of Whole Foods locations, according to store representatives.

“We are deeply troubled by this information and working in full cooperation with law enforcement in their investigation,” a spokesperson told Patch in a statement. “This individual is no longer employed by Whole Foods Market and will not be allowed in any of our stores.”

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