Who’s watching you tan?

Published 12:10 am Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Police shut down a Florala video store/tanning salon Monday after a video camera was found in one of its tanning rooms.

Chief Sonny Bedsole said officers responded to Westside Video and Tan on Fifth Street, which is owned by Tim Townsend, shortly after 10 a.m. after a customer noticed a video came pointing towards the tanning bed.

Officers surrounded the building and Townsend’s residence for six hours before executing a search warrant shortly before 5 p.m., Bedsole said.

“What we’re doing right now is making sure all of our bases are covered,” Bedsole said. “I can say we are searching for an possible video recordings that may have been taken. If the camera was operational, the owner could face criminal surveillance charge at the least.

“If we find images of underage girls, I can’t speculate at this time what other charges there might be,” he said.

Bedsole did confirm officers found marijuana and “a powdery-typed white substance” inside the business. The substance later field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

The case is currently under investigation by police departments from Florala, Lockhart, Andalusia and Opp, the Covington County Sheriff’s Office and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.