Man accused of taking racy photo off customer’s phone
COLONIE A now-former Verizon employee is accused of illegally texting a topless personal photo from a customer’s phone to his own, Colonie police said.
Dominic M. Pirozzi, 33, of 5118 Lazy K Trail, Ballston Spa, faces one count of unauthorized use of a computer, a misdemeanor.
Pirozzi is accused of sending the photo of the customer’s girlfriend, from the customer’s phone to his own via text message.
The customer had brought the phone into the Verizon store at 650 Troy-Schenectady Road last month to have a charging issue fixed, police said. When he picked it up, though, he noticed a text message he didn’t recognize had been sent from his phone.
When he opened the text, he discovered it contained the topless photo of his 19-year-old girlfriend. The victim then called the phone number the text was sent to. He got a voicemail message that identified the number’s owner as “Dominic.”
Returning to the store, he learned the employee who serviced his phone was named Dominic. The man then notified store management and police. Police were called Dec. 20.
“The victim did exactly the right thing in notifying management at the store and calling police right from there to initiate the investigation,” Colonie police spokesman Lt. Robert Winn said.
As police looked into the matter, they determined Pirozzi was responsible. He turned himself in Jan. 2. and was to return to court Wednesday evening.
Pirozzi is no longer employed by the Verizon store, police said, adding that his phone is being examined to determine if there are other victims.
Winn said there was no reason for the employee to look at the customer’s photos, as the problem was a charging issue and had nothing to do with any data on the phone.
After the investigation, police filed the misdemeanor unauthorized use of a computer charge. Winn said today’s smartphones fit the legal definition of a computer.
Going forward, Winn said an obvious lesson from the case is not to have anything on a device that you don’t want anyone else to see. Beyond that, though, he said phone users can take extra steps to secure the data that is on their phones.
“The larger issue is make sure that whatever device it is, it is password-protected,” Winn said. “If it does fall into someone else’s hands, they will not be able to access it.”