UPDATE: After an investigation, police say that camera was inadvertently left in the room by a previous guest. There was no evidence it was used to photograph or record the women in the room.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A group of young women visiting from Milwaukee found a small video camera in their hotel room on Michigan Avenue on Sunday.
“Now we feel incredibly uncomfortable, like it’s an invasion of privacy,” Angela Marek said.
It was supposed to be a carefree trip to Chicago. Instead, a group of young women from Milwaukee say they found a camera pointed at them inside their hotel room at Club Quarters on Wacker and Michigan.
The women said they felt extremely violated when they found the camera Sunday afternoon. They don’t know it recorded them, or if it was just left behind by previous guests, but they wanted to speak out as a warning to others.
“It just makes you feel gross, and uncomfortable, and violated,” Marek said.
She and her friends spent the night at Club Quarters, visiting from Milwaukee.
“I quickly brushed the curtains aside, and noticed something shiny out of the corner of my eye, and I bent down to look at it, and it was a little camera,” Marek said.
The women found a small red digital video camera inside their room as they were checking out. The model they found can be operated remotely.
“It was standing up, with the lens facing outwards, pointing towards our bed and the rest of room,” Marek said.
Kaitlyn Kurudza said finding the camera was very traumatic for her and her friends.
“Especially for the day and age we’re in right now; four young girls that are freshly 21 are going out to a new city. They don’t really know what they’re doing, where they’re going,” she said.
The women said they don’t know how the camera got there, if it was recording during their stay, or who if anyone was watching, but that doesn’t erase what they felt after finding it.
“I started thinking Wi-Fi, does this camera have Wi-Fi? Can someone remotely see this through their phone. We don’t know,” Marek said. “We could be exposed, and we don’t know.”
Before calling 911, the women first brought the camera to hotel management.
“I didn’t feel like we were being taken seriously,” Marek said. “If there is nothing on this camera of us, we still had to go through this, and this uncomfortable feeling, like an invasion of privacy, because we don’t know.”
Chicago police did respond, and took that camera into evidence. However, police said they did not know what was on the camera, or if it was recording during the women’s visit.
The women said the hotel refunded their money.
In a statement, Club Quarters spokesperson Heny Gabay said the hotel is cooperating with the investigation to determine if the camera was left in the room intentionally or accidentally.
“Club Quarters considers the safety and privacy of our guests to be of the utmost importance and has taken this situation very seriously,” Gabay stated in an email. “The Hotel Staff on duty immediately recommended that the police be called, and the Hotel Manager was immediately notified, met with the guests who made the complaint, and spoke to the police. We have an electronic security system in place and have provided information from this system to the police.”