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Contact the Police If You Were at WC Starbucks on June 4 or July 23

If you visited the Starbucks in Walnut Creek on either June 4, 2022 between the hours of 3:30 and 5:00pm or on July 23, 2022 between 3:30 and 5:00, the Walnut Creek Police need you to reach out to them right away.

That’s because police discovered that a hidden camera had been placed in the bathroom at the Starbucks location on those days.

Walnut Creek police recently made an arrest in the case. According to a statement, “The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office charges a Walnut Creek man with 83 felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from the installation of hidden cameras at a Starbucks in downtown Walnut Creek.”

54-year-old Steven John Novelli allegedly placed the camera in the Starbucks bathroom in order to secretly record patrons using the facilities. Authorities appear to suspect that he may have been specifically seeking to produce child pornography, based on the charges filed against him.

Those charges include “attempting to produce child pornography, eavesdropping, installing a hidden camera, and burglary,” the statement says. The Contra Costa County Internet Crimes Against Children task force was also involved.

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Police executed a search warrant at Novelli’s residence on August 10, 2022. They seized numerous items of digital evidence after he was identified as the suspect who had on two separate occasions installed hidden cameras in a Starbucks restroom located at 1340 Main Street in Walnut Creek.  

“Walnut Creek Police arrested Novelli on August 25th and booked him into the Martinez Detention Center. He has remained in custody since his arrest. Novelli will appear on August 30th at 1:30 pm for arraignment in Martinez” the police said.

If you were at the Starbucks on June 4, 2022 between the hours of 3:30 and 5:00pm or on July 23, 2022 between 3:30 and 5:00, you may be affected. The Walnut Creek police need to talk to you if you were at the Starbucks on those dates.

You can email Detective Tyler Bertolozzi at tbertolozzi@walnutcreekpd.com or call the Walnut Creek non-emergency number.

Update: Photos of the alleged suspect and other details of the case have become available.

Please share this article with a friend or post to social media in case anyone in your community may have been at Starbucks on the identified dates and could have been impacted by this alleged crime.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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