Checking out whether that mirror is a two way mirror or not

Monday, July 22nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Many of us get e-mails warning us of the latest crime trend, the truth is, and many of them simply aren't true. But, we found one, that is true and it involves two-way mirrors.

News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright shows us a simple test that lets you know if someone is looking back at you. When you go into a dressing room to try on clothes, you expect to be undressing in private. The same thing applies to people who undress at gyms or tanning salons.

But, have you ever wondered if when you look into that mirror, someone is looking back at you? Years ago, stores commonly used all kinds of techniques to catch shoplifters. Greg Kinslow, asset protection: "Some stores used to put vents up above or catwalks where employees could walk up there and look down into the dressing areas."

But, Target and most other stores stopped using those techniques because of privacy issues. Which is a relief to people who'd rather not be spied on. Most places where you expect privacy, you've got it, but there's an easy way to check. Just place your thumbnail against the mirror. If there's a gap between your nail and its image, you're safe, it's real. But, if those two things touch, beware.

We tested two-way mirrors at the Tulsa Police Department and as you can see, the nail and the image are right together. Of course, if you're in police custody, you don't have an expectation of privacy. In other places, you do, so, pay attention. Tulsa Police Sgt Wayne Allen, "When you're in these facilities and you see a mirror in an inappropriate place, that should be your first tip-off, when things are not right in gyms and restrooms."

Again, the difference, a real mirror, you get a gap between the nail and the image. With a two-way mirror, no gap.

Two-way mirrors shouldn't cause you great concern, but, with this little test, in the future, all you have to worry about while looking in dressing room mirror is your image staring back at you.

Tulsa attorney Wayne Copeland tells us it's now illegal in Oklahoma to watch someone clandestinely in businesses, locker rooms and other places where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The law was amended after a Skiatook coach videotaped young girls undressing in a school locker room.