Police say Michael Beal was standing in line at the register when he pretended to drop something. When he went down to pick it up, he positioned his phone so he could see underneath a woman's dress.
"First and foremost, I think this case highlights how easy it is to unwittingly become a victim to these types of crimes," says Tulsa police Lieutenant Derin Eherenrich.
Witnesses told Tulsa police Beal tried to take inappropriate pictures of a woman at Sam's Club at 71st and Mingo last summer. Tulsa Police say surveillance video shows Beal trying to record five other women in the store. Lieutenant Derin Ehrenrich says the people who saw what happened and told the store manager made a huge difference in this case.
"Had those witnesses not seen what had happened and taken quick and decisive action, we would have never known this occurred," says Ehrenrich.
Beal's arrest affidavit says it was obvious he was not there to go grocery shopping, but rather walking around the store looking for women to videotape. Lieutenant Ehrenrich says after getting a search warrant for Beal's house, investigators found several devices that had similar videos of him trying to record women. Ehrenrich says while it took seven months to get an arrest in this case, he says taking the time to investigate was worth it in the end.
"We take every one of these reports seriously because statistics show that this behavior escalates into something else," says Ehrenrich.
Records show in 2003, Beal was also convicted of indecent exposure. In 2012 he was convicted for secretly trying to record people, but in both cases, he did not do any time and got a suspended sentence. He is currently out on bond tonight.