Forever 21 employee pleads guilty to recording women in dressing room

WESTCHESTER, NY – Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced that Bronx resident Heriberto Polanco pled guilty to unlawful surveillance on Tuesday after he secretly recorded women in dressing rooms while he worked at Forever 21 at the Cross County Center in Yonkers.

Polanco, 27, pled guilty on Sept. 14, 2021, to three counts of Unlawful Surveillance in the Second Degree, a felony. According to his plea agreement, Polanco will receive probationary supervision with sex offender specific conditions and will be required to register as a sex offender.

On Aug. 28, 2019, at approximately 7:15 p.m., a customer at Forever 21 at the Cross County Center in Yonkers was trying on clothes in a unisex dressing room when she noticed a cell phone sitting on top of a sneaker outside her room with the camera lens aimed directly at her. The victim screamed and immediately called Yonkers Police, who identified Polanco, an employee, as a suspect after the victim’s sister reported seeing Polanco running out of the dressing rooms.

On Sept. 10, 2019, Polanco admitted to Yonkers Police that he placed his phone under the victim’s dressing room in an attempt to record her changing. He also admitted to recording other female customers in the Forever 21 dressing rooms without their permission during August 2019 and forensic evidence confirmed this statement.

“The predatory behavior Heriberto Polanco displayed is incredibly disturbing and unacceptable,” DA Rocah said. “Everyone should have the expectation of privacy when they enter a changing room in a store, and Mr. Polanco violated that on numerous occasions.”

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