Zion-Benton News

Video cameras discovered in RecPlex lockers

By Mona Shannon
Zion-Benton News staff

Video cameras were discovered inside two lockers in the women’s locker room at the RecPlex in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. on April 7 after a RecPlex member alerted a staff member that there appeared to be a camera inside a locker.

Melissa A. Wenckebach, 27, of Pleasant Prairie, admitted to placing the cameras in the lockers. She was arrested by Pleasant Prairie Police that evening and was charged with Representations Depicting Nudity, which is a felony. A Waukegan man was indicated as a party to that act.

Pleasant Prairie Police worked with Waukegan Police and the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office and on April 8 a search warrant was executed at a Waukegan residence.

On April 10, Karl J. Landt, 36, of Waukegan, was charged with 11 Felony I counts of Capture an Image of Nudity without Consent in Kenosha County Circuit Court. The criminal complaint indicates that three of the images appear to be juvenile females.

The police investigation continues in an effort to learn how much video was collected; which areas of the locker room were involved; how the video was used or if it was distributed; and to identify potential victims from the evidence collected. It appears the videotaping occurred between January and early April.

Investigators have reiterated that it will be a long-term investigation and each piece of evidence will be painstakingly and sensitively reviewed. Until all the evidence is reviewed, investigators will not know exactly which portions of the women’s locker room have been impacted and in how many locations the cameras had been placed.

According to a statement issued by the RecPlex, children in the preschool and before- and after-school programs do not use this locker room.

The statement also said that RecPlex staff inspect the locker rooms every evening after the facility closes. Any locks left on lockers that are not contracted for long-term rental are cut and the contents of the locker are removed. Any video cameras that would have been present in a locked, unrented locker would have been removed per this policy, which has been in place and in practice for several years.

Following this incident, the RecPlex has been thoroughly swept for cameras and no additional devices were found.

If you believe that you have information that could assist in this investigation or you have concerns regarding the invasion of your privacy related to this matter, please contact the Pleasant Prairie Police Department at 262-948-8910 or e-mail PoliceHotline@PlPrairie.com.