The Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, or CID, has launched an investigation into reports of an incident earlier this week in a restroom at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, said Maj. Jeff Tolbert, a spokesman for the 25th Infantry Division. A social media post indicated that a device that could be a hidden camera was found in the commissary’s restroom on Tuesday.

“We are aware of reports regarding the incident at the Schofield Barracks commissary and have taken immediate action through cooperation with law enforcement and the Army Criminal Investigation Division,” Tolbert said in a statement to Task & Purpose. “The safety and security of our Soldiers and families is always our top priority.”

Officials with the division deferred questions about whether a camera had been discovered in the commissary restroom to CID. 

“We will update the community when information becomes available, to the extent possible, to avoid interfering with the ongoing law enforcement investigation,” Tolbert said.

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The original social media post about the device has since been removed. Pictures obtained by Task & Purpose show that the item found on Tuesday in the Schofield Barracks commissary restroom appears to be covered by silver tape or aluminum foil.

Surveillance expert Allen Walton, CEO of the security company SpyGuy said he was unable to identify the device from a picture shown to him. He also said it is unclear whether the item is a camera and noted that its shape resembles a disposable vape. Most covert cameras sold to the public are meant to appear inconspicuous, like everyday items.

CID did not provide a comment for this story.

The investigation comes about three months after Army Lt. Col. Jacob J. Sweatland received a reprimand after pleading guilty to charges stemming from his September 2022 arrest for placing a hidden camera in a changing room of a store that caters to teenagers and young adults. 

A teenage girl found the camera at a PacSun clothing store in Pismo Beach, California. Police arrested Sweatland two days later when he returned to the store to retrieve the camera. He initially tried to run away from authorities before he was apprehended.

Sweatland was initially charged in civilian court, but the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s office dismissed charges against him to allow the Army to prosecute the case. Sweatland ultimately pleaded guilty to charges of indecent visual recording and conduct unbecoming an officer under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

UPDATE: 03/28/2024; this story was updated to make clear that the Army is investigating reports of an incident at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. A social media user posted that a device that could be a camera was found in the commissary’s restroom.

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