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Police: Mechanicsburg man recorded estranged wife with hidden camera

CUMBERLAND COUNTY — Police have charged a 41-year-old Mechanicsburg man with two felonies after they say he set up a recording device in his home to monit...

CUMBERLAND COUNTY — Police have charged a 41-year-old Mechanicsburg man with two felonies after they say he set up a recording device in his home to monitor the activities of his estranged wife while he was away for the weekend.

Steven M. Thorne, of the 100 block of Melbourne Lane, is charged with interception, disclosure, or use of wire, electronic or oral communications and possession, sale, distribution, manufacture or advertisement of electronic, mechanical or other devices, according to Lower Allen Township Police. Both offenses are third-degree felonies.

Charges were filed on Wednesday.

Police began investigating on May 28, when the victim reported finding a hidden camera mounted in her living room, according to the criminal complaint affidavit. The victim told police she was attempting the adjust the thermostat in her home using the Nest app on her phone. When she opened the app, she noticed a surveillance camera had been added to the account, the victim said. But the victim told police she had no knowledge of any surveillance equipment at the home.

When the victim investigated further, she found that the camera was showing footage from her living room, police say. She eventually located the camera, which had been placed on the bottom shelf of her television stand. The camera’s indicator light had been covered with black tape, the victim reported, and the microphone had been enabled. The victim said it was clear other efforts had been made to conceal the camera, police say.

The victim said she and Thorne were going through a divorce, but still lived in the same house, according to police. She reported that she suspected Thorne had installed the camera to watch what she was doing while he was away for the weekend, the complaint states.

In an interview with police on June 3, Thorne allegedly admitted to installing the camera to monitor the victim while he was away, according to the complaint. He told police he viewed the camera five or six times over the weekend while he was gone, police say. Thorne told police he installed the camera because the victim threatened to destroy his belongings while he was away during an argument they’d had a few days before he left, police say.

In a subsequent interview with police on June 18, Thorne allegedly said he told the victim he was going to install the camera to watch her while he was away, and the claimed the victim acknowledged hearing him, the complaint states. When police asked why he hadn’t disclosed this information in previous interviews, Thorne allegedly told them he “didn’t think of it until now.”

When contacted by police after the interview, the victim “adamantly denied” that Thorne had told her about the camera, police say. The victim “consistently” stated that she had no knowledge she had been under surveillance that weekend, police say in the complaint.