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Police: Man arrested after putting camera in Gates couple’s bedroom



ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A Penfield man that worked for an extermination company was arrested on Thursday after police say he placed a hidden camera in a Gates couple’s bedroom.

Gary Stopani, 27, of Penfield, is charged with burglary and unlawful surveillance in the second degree.

Police say a Gates couple found a cellphone looking covert camera positioned in their bedroom on Wednesday. From January 2020 until Oct. 7, Stopani entered the home numerous times to change out a SIM card on a second covert camera, which was placed in the couple’s bathroom. The cellphone covert camera was placed in the bedroom for approximately 24 hours until the couple discovered it, according to investigators.

Court documents say that the purpose of Stopani placing the camera in the location was for his “own sexual gratification.”

Investigators say Stopani was employed by an exterminator company, which gave him access to residential homes. If anyone recognizes Stopani and would like their home or business checked for devices, call 911 to make arrangements.

“Luckily the homeowners had noticed a flashing light on that one, and that’s what drew their attention to that,” Gates Police Chief James Vanbrederode said. “Found it and realized it was some sort of recording device, and notified the police, and on that recording device of course is the defendant. It has his pictures on there.”

Stopani was remanded to the Monroe County Jail on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond.

He will appear in Gates Town Court on Oct. 13 at 5 p.m.