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Man who found camera in Chilliwack tanning booth angry at lack of accountability

Last Updated Oct 8, 2019 at 11:53 am PST

A Chilliwack man says he found a hidden camera in a tanning booth at the local Planet Fitness. (Source: PlanetFitness.com)

Members of the gym where a man found a camera in a tanning booth say their cancellation fees are not being waived

Paul Serdar says he saw a counsellor after finding a camera in a Planet Fitness tanning booth, because of his anxiety

CHILLIWACK (NEWS 1130) – A Chilliwack man who found a hidden camera in a gym tanning booth says he’s heard nothing from police months after an investigation was launched.

When Paul Serdar climbed into tanning booth number three at Planet Fitness in August, he never imagined he would be the one to discover a hidden camera capturing images of his naked body. Now, he says the gym and police have let members down after their privacy was violated and they weren’t informed for months.

Serdar used the booth on Aug. 8 because his regular booth wasn’t working. But right away, he says, something didn’t feel right.

After his tan, he turned around, naked, pulled off the glasses and opened the door.

“Turn on the flashlight, looked, sure enough – there’s a lens. I immediately went to find a manager, and she got herself and another employee, we went to the tan booth, and she said ‘No way, it’s a thermometer,'” Serdar recounts. “I said, listen, I’ve been in the food industry for 29 years, I’ve seen a lot of thermometers. No thermometer in the world has a fish eye lens. That is a camera.”

A spokesperson for Planet Fitness says the gym contacted the RCMP immediately, but Serdar says he hasn’t been able to get any answers.

“I called a couple of times saying ‘Hey, what’s going on?'” he says, adding the gym refused to address his concerns. “I said somebody needs to talk to me, somebody needs to tell me whats happening here, what do I do?”

Serdar says he couldn’t force himself to return, and cancelled his membership.

“I tried to go back, I couldn’t do it. The girl behind the counter said ‘I’m sorry, it’s not on me,’ and charged me almost $70 to quit,” he says with a disappointed laugh.

Most of the gym’s members found out through social media that their nude or nearly nude images could be anywhere in the world. They say they are angry they weren’t told immediately, and as some try to exit their contracts, that the gym won’t waive the cancellation fees.

Serdar has seen a counsellor since the incident to try to work through his feelings about it, but says he still has not been contacted by police.

“Zero accountability here,” he says.