Crime

Owner of Kansas City tattoo parlor faces charges over hidden cameras in women’s apartments

Rodney S. Sanell faces 42 counts of invasion of privacy and has been accused of using hidden cameras to spy on five women. One woman’s apartment was rigged with 11 cameras, including four in her bathroom, recording her every move.
Rodney S. Sanell faces 42 counts of invasion of privacy and has been accused of using hidden cameras to spy on five women. One woman’s apartment was rigged with 11 cameras, including four in her bathroom, recording her every move. File photo

The owner of a tattoo parlor that operated on Troost Avenue has been charged with invasion of privacy after hidden cameras were found in a woman’s apartment above the store last year.

Rodney S. Sanell, 48, faces 42 counts of invasion of privacy and has been accused of using hidden cameras to spy on five women.

Police began the investigation last year when a 25-year-old Kansas City woman found a hidden camera in a smoke detector in her apartment above Sanell’s business, Freaks Tattoo at 4101 Troost Ave.

A friend visiting the woman’s apartment noticed that the device looked just like one from the box of spy cameras disguised as smoke detectors he had seen in the basement of the business where they both worked: Freaks Tattoo.

The woman called police, who found that her apartment was rigged with 11 cameras, including four in her bathroom, recording her every move.

Officers found wires in the victim’s closet leading down to the tattoo parlor and into a computer monitor in the basement with seven video screens showing the interior of the victim’s apartment.

Numbers listed for Sanell and his business appeared to be disconnected Tuesday, and he could not immediately be reached by phone.

The victim told police she had lived in the apartment since the previous summer. She said her landlord and boss, Sanell, had asked her out and propositioned her several times, which she declined.

Sanell had remodeled her bathroom in October when she was out of town. Hidden cameras were also used to spy on four other women, according to prosecutors.

A maintenance man told one victim that Sanell had put the cameras in the apartment, prosecutors said. A security camera business told police that Sanell had bought several video security items similar to those found at the building on Troost.

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