A Blue Lake man faces multiple charges after police say he placed a small video camera in a women’s bathroom stall at the El Jebel City Market so he could record his girlfriend’s phone conversations.
Louis Garcia Turbin, 29, an employee at the grocery store, was “very jealous” and worried that his girlfriend, who also works at City Market, was cheating on him, said Sgt. Penny Paxton of the Basalt Police Department.
Turbin was arrested on Thursday and faces felony charges of stalking, burglary (since he allegedly entered the bathroom and remained there to commit a crime) and criminal impersonation. He also is to be charged with four misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy, Paxton said.
Paxton was called to City Market around 11:40 a.m. Thursday. The girlfriend found the camera, which looks like a standard wall socket, mounted on a stall wall in front of one of the toilets, Paxton said.
The woman pulled it off the wall and, thinking it to be “weird,” alerted the store’s management, who called police.
Meanwhile, she told her boyfriend what had happened, and he admitted it was his and “thought he was going to get it back,” Paxton said.
“He thought the only thing he was going to get was his girlfriend’s conversations,” she said. “He didn’t get the concept of what he was actually doing.”
Paxton said the device recorded four women employees, who she has since notified. City Market is offering them counseling.
“I just feel really sad for the victims,” she said. “It’s extremely alarming.”
Turbin thought his girlfriend was cheating on him because she would often run in to the bathroom for phone calls. He bought the video camera online and first installed it a few weeks ago, but couldn’t get it to work, Paxton said.
He reinstalled the device around 5:45 a.m. Thursday, according to his alleged confession, and the girlfriend found it soon after.
Turbin “wanted to listen to the conversations to verify his suspicions that she was cheating,” Paxton said. “He was going to sneak back in there to hear the conversations.
“He didn’t get that opportunity.”
The criminal impersonation charge stems from Turbin allegedly giving a fake name to police. Paxton said he is in the country illegally and was working under his brother’s name.
Paxton alerted the media about the arrest to assure customers and employees that this was an isolated incident and that the store is safe.
Turbin has bonded out of the Eagle County Detention Center for an unknown amount.