Reading Eagle: Caernarvon Township woman charged with secretly recording ex-housemate's cellphone conversation

Reading Eagle Article

By Steven Henshaw shenshaw@readingeagle.com @StevenHenshawRE on Twitter

Jan 8, 2020

A Caernarvon Township woman waived a hearing on charges she illegally recorded a private conversation between her former housemate and another woman.

Susan L. Heckles, 63, of the first block of Pennwood Lane waived her hearing Tuesday before District Judge David E. Glass in Birdsboro. She remained free to await further court action on felony counts of interception, disclosure or use of wire, electronic or oral communications and failure to disclose intercepted communications.

Police Detective Cpl. Chad C. Eberly charged Heckles Sept. 30 after investigating the housemate’s complaint.

According to the criminal complaint:

A woman walked into the police station and filed the complaint Aug. 29.

She said she had been living with Heckles until Heckles asked her on Aug. 23 to find somewhere else to live.

Heckles sent an email that day to one of the woman’s co-workers. The email included a sound clip from a private phone conversation the woman had with the coworker about Heckles and work-related matters.

The conversation took place Aug. 22 in a room in the home she shared with Heckles, who wasn’t home at the time.

Neither woman knew they were being recorded, but Heckle stated in her email that she listened to the conversation on a “nanny cam” and had a recording of the full conversation.

Subsequently, Heckles made a malicious allegation against her former housemate to the woman’s employer, alleging she violated various privacy laws. The accusation was later deemed unfounded.

Eberly took the victim’s smartphone to the Berks district attorney’s forensic services unit on Sept. 16. He did a forensic examination of the phone but could not find any applications that were installed to capture cellular conversations.

On Sept 20, Eberly obtained a search warrant for Heckles’ residence and told her about the allegation that she recorded her ex-housemate’s conversation without her permission.

Heckle said she has a nanny cam in her home and it captured the conversation. A search of her residence turned up a digital voice recorder, not nanny cam.