MIAMI (CBSMiami) - A handyman and plumber is accused of video voyeurism in Hallandale Beach.
Veteran Hallandale Beach Police captain and spokesman Pedro Abut told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that, "It's a vile encroachment of someone's rights of privacy and it just shocks the conscience that someone would do this and potentially could have done it to other persons. Part of why we are doing it is to alert the public so that no other incidents will happen. Initially, the victims came forward and we launched the investigation."
An investigation into Pedro Pomares Avila, 50, began in June 2021 after the police were contacted about devices found in a home.
Police said detectives discovered several hidden cameras installed throughout the home in areas where privacy is expected.
Some of the hidden cameras were hidden in bathrooms, closets, and ceilings.
The people who live there said when they confronted Avila, he hit them and left the residence, according to police.
An arrest warrant was issued for Avila earlier this month and he was taken into custody on Tuesday, November 23rd.
He's been charged with two counts of video voyeurism and two counts of battery.
Police say Avila conducted home repairs throughout Miami-Dade and Broward, and they are concerned there could be more victims out there. They said people who had Avila do work in their home should inspect it for any devices. If they believe they are a victim, they should contact their local police department.
"The investigation revealed they were recording people in their most intimate moments," said Abut. "We are also doing this to alert the public in case Mr. Avila has done work in their homes. There were over half a dozen cameras that he installed in that one home."
"We are advising the public that if they used Mr. Avila to do work in their home to revisit what he did and make sure no problems exist and we alerting the public that if you have people coming into your home there are technically savvy people who how to do these things and sometimes they do these things for their own gratification. Do not be overly alarmed but be aware so that this does not happen to you."
Avila appeared in bond court in Miami before Circuit Judge Mindy Glazer because he was arrested in Miami-Dade. She ordered that he be transferred from a jail in Miami-Dade to Broward and the case will be revised on December 9th.
The victims, in this case, are asking for privacy. Abut said it is not known if there are any more victims.
Records show Avila lives in a duplex at S.W. 7th Ave. and 10th St. in Hallandale Beach. Neighbors told D'Oench that Avila has lived there for at least two years and has offered to do work in homes in that neighborhood.
Avila is charged with 3rd-degree felonies that can each lead to up to 5 years in prison, 5 years probation, and a $5,000 fine if convicted.
Avila listened to the charges against him through a translator in bond court where he said he understood the charges. An Assistant Public Defender was appointed for him.
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