MARYSVILLE, Calif. (CBS13) — A Yuba County convenience store’s unusual tactic to deter vandalism drew sharp criticism from customers who say the new addition to the men’s bathroom makes them uncomfortable.

The manager of the Circle K in Marysville said the surveillance camera mounted inside the bathroom has been extremely effective in curtailing vandalism in their store. The camera is a decoy and doesn’t record anything, store employees said.

The sight of the camera was still unnerving to customers like Robert Donaldson, who said he complained after spotting the electronic eye aimed straight at the sink and toilet area of the single-occupancy bathroom.

“It’s kind of shocking to see a camera inside the bathroom,” Donaldson said.

The camera was installed in November after gang symbols were carved into the wood-paneled walls of the restroom.

Legal experts say the store isn’t technically breaking any laws since the camera isn’t functional, but if it were, it would be a violation of privacy laws. The store could also open itself up to legal challenges from those who don’t realize the camera isn’t rolling.

The news is of little comfort to Donaldson, who worries that footage could somehow end up in public.

“YouTube, there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on nowadays. Who knows what it could be used for?” he said.

While unpopular, the business manager said they haven’t had any vandalism at all since the camera was put in.

Comments (137)
  1. midnight says:

    How do you know it’s a decoy…is it just because the manager says so? Has anyone actually checked? Peepers and wierdos are everywhere these days. Persons in my city have gone to jail for things like this.

    1. Ron Ernie says:

      It is a real want to buy some footage?

      Ron Ernie

  2. Jim Kress says:

    If you don’t like it, go to a different store.

    1. George Orwell says:

      So what do you do when they’re in all bathrooms, and everywhere outside? Go to another planet?

      This “I didn’t do anything wrong” and “I’ve got nothing to hide” 1) ignores the laws of nature (everything has an opposite), and 2) is the statement made by those seeking to control movement.

      Anything can be made to look “wrong” and out-of-context. Do you want to be the one having to explain the accusation? What about if the one accusing is perceived as more credible because they have a fancy “uniform” on?

      Fancy uniform + cameras everywhere + human nature = more corruption and injustice.

      1. Ned Schnittt says:

        I think you’re already on another planet.

      2. abc says:

        Are you that laoughner guys relative?

    2. Jose says:

      Its sad that there are not that many defenders of private property rights on this comments board.

    3. MikeinJax says:

      The problem is that they setting themselves up for a lawsuit. If someone goes to that bathroom and is mugged , beat up, hurt, whatever. There is a reasonable expectation on the victims part that the camera installed is real and working if not otherwise stated, which gives the victim of any crime in front of that camera a false sense of security. The victim could win litigation against the Circle K for that reason alone. This camera could cause them trouble even though its not real.

      1. llp says:

        It’s a crime to install cameras in restrooms. People have been convicted of installing fake cameras in restrooms before in California because the supposed victim thought the camera was functional.

        There are fake cameras everywhere, used as crime dterrents. No one has successfully sued the owner of these cameras when they failed to record an assault and no owner is under obligation to use real cameras to observe & record a crime.

  3. L. C. says:

    No, Jim, if you don’t like it, rip it off the wall. After all, it doesn’t work, and they’d never know who did it, right? LOL!

    1. Al Phresceaux says:

      Is he ever in town long enough to DO any work?

  4. RD says:

    Maybe we should demand that a camera be put in the Oval office to see if Barry does ANY work all day long.

    1. Jaymosch says:

      @RD What the hell does that have to do with this story?

      1. David says:


    2. GoatSehks says:

      Because Obama is driving our country into the toilet.

      1. alllen says:

        But we will witness that he has washed his hands, of the middle class…

    3. David says:

      No, he’d be on vacation again, so he would never be on it

    4. Chairman Oh says:

      What a wonderful idea, but only when he got back from his monthly vacation.

  5. Terri says:

    When men compain it is funny. Just like violence against men is a good laugh.

    Install that thing in the woman’s rest room and expect women’s special interests to rise up against it and a congreesional act.

    1. Tony says:

      Wow Terri, you get it. Just had to commend you.

  6. SJH says:

    Is this Donaldson guy stupid? He was told the camera is non-functional and does not record anything. He then rattles on about footage being sent to YouTube. Sounds a bit neurotic to me.

    1. BW says:

      I think your the stupid one… He was told it didn’t work so that makes it so… Believe what someone tells you about something like this and your little self will end up on youtube. Get a job fool…
      Now you really do sound like a Barry fan with all that hope and change nonsense.

      1. Dan Barnous says:


        It’s a contraction of you are,stupid

  7. Magnum says:

    The phony camera is actually a decoy for the REAL camera that’s concealed in the paper towel dispenser! The footage from that one has already been sent to Homeland Security, where it is being reviewed to determine if any vandals might possibly be gang members or illegal aliens. If that is found to be the case, Big Sis will give them ten years to voluntarily leave the country, under threat of really, really, getting tough with them.

    1. BW says:

      Sounds like a right wing conspiracy to me… Maybe Big Sis wants to know if hers is as big as the average Joe. I still think Bush and the right wing have something to do with it.

  8. tramky says:

    How does anyone really know for sure that this ‘camera’ is non-functional? Because this guy says so? What’s that worth?

  9. D says:

    A guy just trying to run and protect his livelyhood from gang bangers.
    I bet they are from south of the border.

    1. beso me juevos says:

      Those guys are chupa_cacas.

      1. Jim Bonnefeld says:

        What is a chupa caca?

      2. beso me juevos says:

        You are an ignorant scheiss gesicht.

  10. Kevin says:

    It’s only in the mens bathroom. And as we know, US men have no special rights. So be quiet and deal with the modern, advanced US you stupid sheeple….

  11. BajaJoes says:

    If there has been a grafitti problem, I would expect the next one to be a masked person spray painting the camera! Yuk, Yuk.

  12. SirGareth says:

    This sort of reminds me of the Virgina State Troopers putting up a sign on I-81 that there would be a random drug surveillance stop several miles ahead – and prepare to be searched. Of course they put the sign up just ahead of a little used local freeway exit with a no-services sign attached to the exit

    Naturally the troopers put their stop at the bottom of the exit asking any out of state drivers if they were lost or were they just visiting the few residents the exit served.

    When they were answered with confused answers they simply asked if their dogs could have a sniff. They caught dozens of drug traffickers in one day. The court threw all of the cases out – the police used trickery and that wasn’t fair it seems.

    1. Jason says:

      LMAO… that’s awesome.

  13. commen t below says:

    comment below

  14. BrentW says:

    If you’re uncomfortable, use the ladies’ room instead.

  15. Ken says:

    Its Private property, who cares!!!!!!

  16. Love the idea says:

    Oooh, poor widdle taggers, afriad their tiny dorks will be on YouTube.

  17. John Smith says:

    It’s James Brown recommended and approved.

  18. darrell7887 says:

    Jim Bonnefeld

    What is a chupa caca?

    It is a mythical turd.

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