Karen Drew: I’m an investigative reporter, I thought I would have done better

Karen Drew searching for hidden cameras (WDIV)

DETROIT – The assignment didn’t seem too hard. Go into a Detroit apartment and find the hidden cameras that have been placed there by the Local 4 Investigative Team. This was part of our story on the rise of hidden cams in vacation rentals and we also wanted to test a device that was supposed to detect hidden cameras.

I walked in feeling very confident. Within the first moments, I spotted the “secret pen cam” that was hanging on a calendar on the fridge. I thought to myself, this isn’t going to take long. I think I’ll find these hidden cameras quickly.

Well, I was wrong. I found only three of the six cameras that were placed there, and I have to say there were in plain sight. The experiment was a learning lesson for me as I rent vacation rentals with my family, and while this doesn’t occur at all rentals it’s a lesson to be aware of and know what to look out for.

Report: Are there hidden cameras in your vacation rental? Here’s what to know

Karen Drew searching for hidden cameras (WDIV)

Below are the lessons that I learned:

  • Look for tiny pinholes in things (like clocks or smoke detectors)
  • Look for things out of place
  • Look up high (light bulbs and items on shelves can hide a hidden cam and get a shot of the entire room).
  • Also, you can use the light in your phone to shine on items to see if there could be a recording device inside ( the infrared light should show up).

Also, if you have a question, move the item, and of course, call the person or company you are renting from.

Take the time to look, especially in bathrooms and bedrooms. I”m not here to scare you. I have never encountered an issue, but at the same time, it is good to walk in informed and know what to look out for. As I said if an Investigative Reporter only found three out of six cameras, it goes to show it’s good to know what to look out for and where.

About the Author:

Karen Drew is the anchor of Local 4 News First at 4, weekdays at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. She is also an award-winning investigative reporter.