NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro Police arrested a man accused of using a baby monitor to spy on his coworker.
According to the arrest report, Christopher Neel has been charged with wiretapping and aggravated burglary.
Police said Neel gained access to the victim's home in Sylvan Heights when she wasn't there. In a recorded conversation, he allegedly told the victim he saw someone enter the code to her door at a party and he memorized it.
In November of 2017, he went to put a baby monitor under her bed. She found it months later.
After talking to people at work, the victim said she found out there were possibly other victims.
Together, police said the three co-workers confronted Neel at the end of March and recorded the conversation. In it, police said Neel admitted to placing the monitor under the first victim's bed.
A few days after Neel was confronted, the first victim reported she got a letter from Neel apologizing and admitting what he had done. Then, she handed all of the information over to police.
We spoke with Chad Kozlowski, a counter surveillance and security expert, who explained there are many ways people can use devices like this to monitor others secretly.
"If it has a signal, it can be hacked," Kozlowski said.
He said, if purchasing a product for your home, it's important to know who you are getting it from and if that product has multiple levels of safety and encryption in it to make it a lot harder for someone to hack.
Obviously, in this situation, the victims did not even know the devices were there, but Kozlowski said there's something for that, too.
"With a device that transmits, we have devices that can pick up those transmission capabilities. We call those detection devices or TSCM products," Kozlowski said. "What those devices do is they identify specific signals and then they will actually show you that on the device, and then you know that something of that nature is in your facility."
Devices such as these can vary greatly in price. Kozlowski said they have some detection devices that cost around $75 and others going for $20,000 to $40,000, depending on what you need to detect.
"Unfortunately, it’s hard to know that someone is potentially spying on you or your residency, but if you do have suspicions, you can purchase devices of this nature that are really easy to use,” Kozlowski said. "Everything produces a frequency. What do I have that produces that frequency in my household? Eliminate it. Then do your sweeps.”
Basically, it will tell you if it detects a frequency coming from a device you didn't even know was there.
Kozlowski said unfortunately with the growth of technology, there can be a bad side to it.
"It’s very saddening to hear that someone’s intruding on someone’s privacy in such a manner, especially for such a long time. Unfortunately, those things do occur," Kozlowski said. He added, "Every day we’re coming up with new products that do different things. Wiretapping dates back to the beginning of cell phones and the beginning of phones back in the mob days.”
He stated there are preventative ways to take care of ourselves that aren't expensive, from detecting devices to using cameras that could help capture someone who enters your home illegally.
Kozlowski said, "We have a phone which is connected to Facebook obviously it's going to be using WiFi or it's cellular based data, the closer you get to the device, the WiFi starts to boom. The 4G really starts to peak."
Kozlowski also sells a device that can detect hidden cameras.
Kozlowski said, "A device like this that's a lens finder, a spy finder, emits a bright red RF light and if you actually hold this device up to your eye, what it does is it shoots this light off and that light reflects off the camera lens and the glass lens produces a white light."
In the baby monitor case, Koslowski said a hidden camera could have captured the suspect in the act.
Kozlowski said, "It's sad, who knows what that person is trying to either identify or capture or figure out about that person."
Christopher Neel has bonded out of jail and is due back in court in August.
We reached out to him for comment but he did not get back to us.