St. Charles Herald-Guide

Police: Cell phone tech stole womanís private pics

Jonathan Menard - May 20, 2014

A former employee of a cell phone repair store in Luling was arrested after police say he downloaded pictures from a customerís phone while fixing it and shared them with friends.

Authorities believe there are several other victims who may not be aware that their personal pictures were also illegally downloaded.

A Des Allemands woman told the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office that she brought her phone to Repair Dat in February to get a cracked screen replaced. The employee in charge of repairing her phone, 18-year-old Cody Dufrene, allegedly downloaded pictures from the woman’s cell without her permission and was sharing them with friends on social media, according to Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange, spokesman for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“After seeing her photos, he created a folder for them and then uploaded them to Dropbox,” LaGrange said. “From there, he sent them to friends.”

Dropbox is a cloud service that allows people to upload photos, documents and videos and access them from any location.

Earlier this month, the woman was told by a friend that photos of her were circulating on social media. The woman contacted the Sheriff’s Office.

After investigating the incident, detectives seized electronic equipment and found more pictures that they suspect were downloaded from cell phones brought into Repair Dat.

“We haven’t gotten calls from any other victims yet, but we strongly believe that there are other victims out there,” LaGrange said.

Authorities are asking anyone who took phones into Repair Dat, and think they could have been a victim, to contact Det. Brad Walsh at (985) 783-1135 or (985) 783-6807.

Dufrene, of 135 Bayou Estates South in Des Allemands, was arrested on May 13 and charged with video voyeurism, defamation and offenses against intellectual properties.

Brandon Guillory, owner of Repair Dat, said Dufrene was fired from the store in February due to poor job performance.

Guillory said that Repair Dat has privately apologized to the woman and has taken steps to ensure that the privacy breach doesn’t occur again.

“This was an isolated incident that we are truly sorry for,” Guillory said. “We deeply care for our customers and are committed to protecting the privacy of all past, current and future customers.”

He added that all employees who could have possibly been involved in the incident were removed from the store’s staff.

“We will continue to take strides in the direction of professionalism and excellent service,” Guillory said.LaGrange said that the Sheriff’s Office could make more arrests in connection with the incident.

Police: Cell phone tech stole womanís private pics