Crime

Man charged with hiding cellphone, taking photos in Forever 21 at Oak Park Mall

A southwest Missouri man has been charged with secretly photographing a teenager and woman inside Forever 21 changing rooms at Oak Park Mall.

Anthony Delapp, 33, of Joplin, is charged in Johnson County District Court with two felony counts of breach of privacy.

The charges stem from two incidents last October and December at the Overland Park retailer.

A 15-year-old girl was changing clothes on Oct. 28 when she saw a cellphone on the ground “in a manner that could record or photograph her while in the changing room,” according to an affidavit by Overland Park police.

The girl took a picture of the phone and also saw to whom the phone belonged, according to the affidavit filed in Johnson County District Court.

Officers were able to connect that man to a red pickup truck “tied to” Delapp.

Then on Dec. 9, police were again called to the store after a 20-year-old woman reported finding a cellphone leaned against clothing on the floor and aimed at her.

She notified store security and Delapp was allegedly found in an adjoining changing room.

The young woman’s mother confronted him and tried to take his cellphone and he fled the area, according to the court document.

Police questioned Delapp a few days later and he admitted to being at the mall on both occasions and having a confrontation with a woman.

But he said any pictures he took were of himself trying on clothes.

He denied filming anyone else.

When police searched the contents of Delapp’s phone, they allegedly found more than 100 photographs “that were clearly taken from within public changing rooms,” according to the documents.

“In at least six photographs officers can clearly see females who were either partially nude, in undergarments, or in the process of changing clothes in the adjoining changing room,” according to the affidavit. “It is apparent that the individuals do not realize that they are being photographed.”

Delapp was released from custody last week after posting bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

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