Woman’s sensitive photos stolen during cell phone upgrade

Credit: WFLA

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — In November, an employee at a Sprint store on Ulmerton Road in Largo crossed the line that separates customer service from criminal intent.

Kenneth Hilario Sanchez age 24, helped a 20-year-old woman transfer data from her old cell phone to a new one, then according to an arrest affidavit, he helped himself, texting 22 sensitive photos of her to his phone.

“These photographs are private photographs of her and they were personal,” attorney John Brewer said.

Brewer represents the victim, who after the data transfer, noticed her pictures were sent via text to a number she didn’t recognize. The number belonged to Hilario Sanchez.

“The very people she relied upon were, the very people that basically violated that, that privacy and took photographs, specific photographs of her,” Brewer added.

According to court records, when confronted by Largo detectives, Hilario Sanchez admitted to stealing the photos and sharing them with other employees.

Largo police arrested him on a charge of Offenses against Users of Computers, Computer Systems, Computer Networks and Electronic Devices, which is a third-degree felony.

HilarioSanchez would not comment on the incident, but did tell 8 On Your Side that he did not want us showing up at his home or place of employment.

8 On Your Side also contacted Sprint. Media relations spokesperson Roni Singleton called the actions, “inexcusable” and wrote in an email, “We are aware of and upset by this incident, and take matters like this very seriously. As a result of this incident, our third-party retailer made the swift decision to immediately terminate this employee.”

Singleton added the Ulmerton Road store is a third-party retailer, so the employee was not a direct Sprint employee.

There are things consumers can do to protect themselves.

“Don’t ever hesitate to ask questions, don’t be shy because it’s your property and you need to protect it,” Hospital manager Cory Peace said.

According to Cory, consumers can download Apps to use as a photo vault or use phone settings to hide pictures. But, there is one thing that won’t fail to protect your data or sensitive photos.

“Get them off your phone before you get in there,” Cory advises. John Brewer’s client didn’t do that, and now through no fault of her own she has been violated and lives in fear.

“She doesn’t know when these pictures are going to show up or where on a website or forever how long,” her attorney added.

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