Ronald Wallace Lane
Updated: Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012, 3:18 PM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 17 Apr 2012, 3:18 PM MDT
AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) - A "funny-looking water bottle" seemed harmless enough, but on closer inspection, employees at St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Shop knew the man carrying it was up to something.
Austin, Texas, police were called to the 1300 block of Congress Avenue on Sunday on report of a man taking photos under the skirts of women.
APD Sex Crimes detectives discovered that Ronald Wallace Lane, 48, had hidden a small camera and media card in his drink holder, also known as a "koozie," and was allegedly taking photos of women in the thrift store's dressing rooms, placing the koozie on the floor underneath the dressing room doors, according to witnesses.
During the police questioning, Lane admitted and gave police a second small camera, one he had hidden in his right sandal.
One witness told police he saw Lane follow women wearing dresses who came into the store, stand close to them and put his foot with the sandal in between the women's legs from behind. He allegedly also placed the koozie up close to the women's buttocks, according to the police affidavit.
The witness also told police he saw the man leave the store and appear to be filming women from behind as they walked down South Congress Avenue, including a young girl of about 14 or 15 years old.
A second witness told police that when she was in the thrift store, the suspect was holding the koozie in an "awkward position" and approached her with it. She could see holes in the koozie, turned toward him so he was not behind her because he made her feel uncomfortable. She and her boyfriend, the first witness, followed the suspect out of the store and she told police she saw Lane walk up to a woman who had on short shorts. She told police she saw Lane place the koozie up close to the butt of her shorts.
The suspect then approached another woman, one wearing a Mexican dress, according to the witness. She said she saw Lane place his foot with the sandal in between the female's feet and lean back so not to touch her. She told police she believed he had a camera in his shoe and was taking photos up underneath the woman's dress. The witness told the woman what she witnessed after Lane had walked away.
Lane is charged with improper photography and visual recording, a state jail felony.