Sheriff's detectives say Andrew Jensen, a former Rancho Palos Verdes building inspector, secretly recorded dozens of people in an employee restroom at Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall and the Starbucks store in the nearby Golden Cove Shopping Center. Photo By Chuck Bennett

A former building inspector was arrested at his Huntington Beach home Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of secretly recording 89 people in restrooms at Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall, where he worked, and a nearby Starbucks coffee store, authorities said.

Andrew Jensen, 49, was taken into custody around 3 p.m. following a more than two-month investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The investigation was triggered when a City Hall worker on July 5 discovered a camera attached to the bottom of a tampon dispenser in a restroom, Sgt. Ricky Osburn said.

Jensen faces 89 misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy via peeking and using a hidden camera, said Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

If convicted, Jensen faces up to 44 years and six months in jail, he said. Jensen was being held on $450,000 bail, according to jail records.

“The camera we recovered was a miniature spy camera a little bit bigger than a quarter and he had wrapped it in Velcro and secured it to the underside of the dispenser,” Osburn said. The restroom where the device was discovered is accessible only to employees.

Detectives reviewed footage on the device that included the suspect setting up the camera, but his face was not captured. Jensen was identified by “unique physical oddities,” Osburn said.

The camera also contained footage taken from the restroom of the Starbucks at the Golden Cove Shopping Center.

Osburn said it was hard to pin down exactly when the footage was taken, but the district attorney’s office said the charges stem from incidents June 13 to July 5.

In a statement, Rancho Palos Verdes officials said they immediately reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Department. Jensen was placed on leave Aug. 2 and resigned from his job last week, according to the city.

“The City has fully cooperated with the Sheriff’s Department and assisted them by providing information and evidence. The City also began its own investigation into the matter,” the statement said. “The City is gravely concerned and disturbed by this betrayal of trust and violation of privacy against our employees and the community. However, we are confident that justice will be served in the criminal courts.”

According to the government salary database Transparent California, Jensen worked for Rancho Palos Verdes as a building inspector for seven years, earning $86,500 in total pay and benefits in 2017.

Jensen worked as a part-time building inspector for the city of El Segundo for 11 months in 2013, said City Manager Greg Carpenter.

Starbucks spokesman Nate Nesbitt said “our partners always work to ensure the safety of our customers as well as the security of the store.”

“As part of regular store operations, we continually monitor the seating areas and restrooms in order to identify potential safety or security concerns,” he said. “We are grateful to the local authorities for the actions they’ve taken and will continue to support them in this matter.”

Osburn said a search of Jensen’s home found lawfully possessed pornography, but no additional evidence.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Detective Terence Peterson at 310-891-3211 or

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