Mobile phone store manager charged with stealing nude photos
FOX CROSSING, Wis. (WLUK) - The manager of a mobile phone store faces theft and disorderly conduct charges for allegedly stealing "selfie" images of women from phones they traded in.
Arron Hoch, 25, returns to court Dec. 14 for a status conference, and Dec. 18 for a preliminary hearing. A cash bond of $2,000 was set at his initial court appearance last week.
A burglary was reported at the A Wireless store, 1395 W. American Dr., on Sept. 1. However, "An investigation revealed that the store manager, identified as Arron Hoch, had been involved in ongoing thefts from the store for several months, and the burglary had been staged to cover his involvement. Hoch was found to have personally sold numerous reported stolen items to an Appleton man, as well as additional items at area resale stores," according to a news release from the Fox Crossing police department.
A search of Hoch's home also resulted in the recovery of numerous electronic items that were reported as stolen in the burglary report from the store, as well as additional company property.
According to the criminal complaint, approximately 65 items from store worth $50,000 were stolen.
According to Fox Crossing police, "Investigators recovered electronic storage devices, containing what appeared to be the personal photos, or “selfies” of numerous women. Many of the photos included women in various states of clothing, including full nudity. Four of the women were eventually identified, and allege that the images in Hoch’s possession were stolen without their consent or knowledge, during a time in which they had traded in, or transferred data from an old phone at the ... store."
"Some of the photos have date stamps and have GPS stamps on them that's what led our detective," said Community Liaison Officer Jason Weber of the Fox Crossing Police Dept.
FOX 11 asked Weber why the crime would be considered disorderly conduct.
"You would think it would be a little more severe by taking somebody else’s naked pictures, at this point in time the only law really, is disorderly conduct," he said. "We have four extremely upset victims, if you can understand with that, at this point of time we only have a disorderly conduct."
Joe Wetzle, an IT Instructor at Fox Valley Technical College, said it's important to factory reset your phone before you turn it over.
“You want to make sure all your data is completely destroyed before you give your phone to anyone, if you’re selling it on Craigslist or if you’re putting into a marketplace or even recycling it. You want to make sure you factory reset it," Wetzel said.
We reached out to officials with the Verizon Wireless store, they declined an interview for this story.
Police are looking to identify several other victims whose photos were found. If anyone feels that they may fall into this category, they are asked to contact Detective Anderson at (920) 720-7109.