Two Verizon staffers are under indictment for allegedly stealing nude photographs from an attractive female customer's phone and passing them around.
According to the gendarmes, the two men worked at a Verizon store in Bartow, Florida, where one, Joshua Stuart, 24, helped a nubile local waitress transfer her data from her old handset to a new smartphone. Unbeknownst to her, he also took a copy of some of the pictures from the phone's memory for his personal perusal, it's alleged, as well as for a colleague.
The theft only came to light when another customer, a local bartender, came into the store for an upgrade. Stuart asked if he knew any of the local waitresses and offered to show him "banging pictures" of the woman. When he couldn't find them on his computer, he called over a coworker, Gregory Lampert, 26, who had them on his phone.
What the two store employees didn't know was that the man was a friend of the woman in question, and he wasted no time in letting her know what was going on. He then contacted the police after discussing the situation with her.
According to the police report the woman described the photos as "very private in nature and several depict her breasts and vagina." She also positively IDed the two Verizon employees involved and said that she had not given consent for any information to be copied.
Her friend who alerted the police was also interviewed, and was able to confirm that he had been shown 21 of the 22 pictures stolen by the Verizon staff. He also identified the staff from a photographic line-up.
The police got a warrant to search the Verizon store and found the images on a laptop and two phones belonging to Lampert. He confessed to receiving the pictures, and also to stealing images from another customer's phone.
Lampert has now been charged with two felony counts of dealing in stolen property and offenses against computer users, plus a misdemeanor theft count and probable cause on a charge of handling lewd materials. Stuart is currently out-of-state and will face charges when (or possibly if) he returns.
In the experience of this El Reg hack, this kind of thing is nothing new. Workers in the photographic development department of my local Boots were famed for the shoebox of candid prints that had been run off from a customer's film. The Verizon pair are simply doing the same thing digitally. ®