Deerfield Beach, FL – A 30-year-old man from Pompano Beach is now in custody, facing charges following the discovery of hidden cameras installed in the bathrooms of various YouFit gyms throughout South Florida.
The investigation commenced in September when a concealed camera was found beneath the sink in the handicap stall of the men’s restroom at the YouFit gym situated at 4032 W Hillsboro Blvd in Deerfield Beach.
Broward Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson, Carey Codd, expressed his concern, stating, “This is a very disturbing and despicable crime. This individual is accused of surreptitiously placing hidden cameras inside men’s handicap bathroom stalls at a fitness facility in Deerfield Beach.”
Prompted by this discovery, the gym’s regional manager directed staff to inspect their facilities, resulting in the identification of additional cameras in Boynton Beach, Davie, and another Deerfield Beach location. The suspect, identified as Bernardo Santiago Lopez, was also reported to have visited a YouFit facility in Miami within a two-month period.
“As part of the investigation, it was subsequently discovered that similar cameras have been surreptitiously hidden inside men’s bathroom stalls at other fitness facilities in Boynton Beach and elsewhere in Broward County,” Codd added.
According to the arrest report, the WiFi-connected cameras contained images of at least 50 naked men. Following this discovery, deputies from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, along with officers in Boynton Beach, initiated an investigation, ultimately identifying Lopez as the suspect.
Lopez, arrested on November 3, is currently in custody at the Broward County Jail, with a warrant filed for his arrest in Palm Beach County.
Gym records indicated Lopez’s visits to all the implicated YouFit Gyms, with deputies asserting the presence of video footage showing him setting up the hidden camera in Deerfield Beach.
Lopez reportedly confessed to installing the cameras, revealing an unsettling motive of deriving pleasure from observing men in vulnerable, naked states.
In response to the incident, YouFit issued a statement to 7News, stating, “We immediately removed the cameras, contacted law enforcement, and assisted in the investigations that led to the arrest of the suspect. This individual is no longer eligible to rejoin our fitness community.”
Lopez has been assigned a $25,000 bond, and subsequent charges in Boynton Beach await him in Palm Beach County.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation.