Decatur police investigating claim of improper photography

By Lori Brown

As Burleson police look for a man accused of taking improper photos and videos of women, Decatur police have a similar case.

People taking improper photos are a problem across North Texas, but it may finally be easier for prosecutors to lock up those kinds of offenders.  

Up until last month, prosecutors had to prove that a person was taking photos for sexual gratification; something difficult to do.

Now, the only proof needed is that photos were taken of person's private area without consent.

Jennifer Robinson is a North Texas mother. She’s cool, calm and collected, but she went into fight mode Monday evening.

She was at a Walmart in Decatur when she says she caught a man snapping an inappropriate photo of her or her 9-year-old daughter, Payton.

“My daughter and I were looking at the bin of DVDs, and I heard a click, and I turned and I saw a gentleman…and he turned, grabbed his cart and walked off really fast,” said Robinson.

She called Decatur police and a detective came to her house.

“He listened to my story and was very understanding, and he responded, ‘Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do because of that law,’” said Robinson.

That law made it tough to prosecute people who took inappropriate photos because you had to prove an improper motive.

But three weeks ago, the law changed, making it illegal to take photos of a person's private areas, even if it's in public.

Burleson police just released surveillance photos of a different man who they say has done just that at a Walmart on Southwest Wilshire Boulevard and at Sam’s Club on Burleson Boulevard.

“I feel like people who take inappropriate pictures, that is probably a first step and they're going to do more bad things,” said Robinson.

When FOX 4 asked the Decatur Police Department why the officer did not take a report, the police chief told us that a report should have been taken.

The chief personally followed up with the case and made sure the Walmart surveillance video was preserved.

Decatur police are reviewing it to see if there is evidence of a crime and whether they can identify the suspect.