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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Store fires employee accused of voyeurism


    Owners of Ace Hardware in Jacksonville have fired an employee accused of voyeurism after a camera was found in the store’s bathroom and said they are taking measures to ensure the safety of its customers and employees.

    They are cooperating with police in the investigation.

    Jeremy W. Beck, 24, of 1248 Merritt Road was booked into Morgan County Jail about 9:55 p.m. Thursday on a charge of unauthorized videotaping and live video transmission.

    A woman at the Jacksonville store at 900 W. Morton Ave. declined to identify herself other than to say she was the manager. She referred calls to the owners.

    “”He is not employed by us,”” Lucy Bagot said Tuesday, confirming the employee has been fired. She and her brother, George Preckwinkle, are owners of the West Morton Avenuestore and several others in the area.

    Beck was released from the jail Friday on a notice to appear in court April 26. Because Beck is no longer in jail, State’s Attorney Chris Reif said he probably will not review police reports and not formally file charges until the week before Beck’s initial court appearance.

    Jacksonville police received a report March 23 that someone had found a video recorder placed in the bathroom stall of a business in the 900 block of West Morton Ave.

    Police initially did not identify the business, but revealed it after the Journal-Courier sought disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.

    Bagot said the store would do everything it can to cooperate with the investigation and “”will do everything that we can to make sure our store’s environment is safe for both our employees and our customers.””

    She said the store is still considering what safeguards it can take.

    “”We will do everything to not ever have anything like this happen again,”” she said.

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