A tiny black dot on the Longboat Key bedroom smoke detector was enough to alert an Indiana couple that something was wrong.
Sure enough, when the couple got a closer look, what appeared to be a smoke detector was actually a camera pointing directly at the bed, according to ABC Action News.
Derek Starnes, in a call to ABC Action News, said he and his wife were “freaked out” by the incident. Starnes explained he saw a black hole on the smoke detector and took it down. That’s when he found a camera recording onto an SD card and called the police.
Investigators came to the home at 623 Cedars Court in Longboat Key and went to work, according to ABC Action News.
“We seized a lot of computer storage data devices, hard drives, computers, laptops SD cards anything that would store data,” Lt. Bob Bourque told ABC Action News. “We don’t know if there are local victims someone who may have been dating him or a companion that doesn't realize they are being videotaped, and then we have the other side of who he rented to through Airbnb.”
Bourque told WFLA Channel 8 investigators have looked a the SD card and found “a couple of different people on them.” Some of the recovered videos date back as far as 2008.
Police arrested the homeowner, 56-year-old Wayne Natt, who is charged with one count of video voyeurism, according to WFLA. He was booked into the Manatee County jail on Sept. 29 and was released on bond, according to jail records.
His reason for having a camera in a smoke detector?
Natt told police in a statement that it was for sex parties he hosted at the home, ABC Action News reported.
Natt told police the cameras were for his personal use and not on when guests are in the home, but police told WFLA the cameras can be operated remotely. Police also found several videos, including one of the Indiana couple.
“He says that everyone videoed had knowledge he was videoing them,” Bourque told ABC Action News. What we said to that was… if people are consenting to recording sexual activity why is it hidden in a smoke alarm? He said it was for recording sexual activity.”
Bourque told reporters Natt’s Airbnb account has been active for two years.
In a statement to WFLA, Airbnb spokesman Benjamin Breit said:
“We are outraged at the reports of what happened; as soon as we were made aware, we permanently banned this individual from our community and fully supported the affected guests. Our team has reached out to local law enforcement to aid them with their investigation of this egregious offense and we hope justice is served. We take privacy issues extremely seriously and have a zero-tolerance policy against this behavior.”
Anyone with information on the incident should contact Longboat Key police.