A 43-year-old Glendale man was banned from the Americana at Brand and Glendale Galleria after police say he was caught using his cell phone on Monday to photograph the buttocks of girls and women.
Paul Martin Birkeland was arrested and released at the scene on suspicion of annoying children and photographing a person for sexual gratification without their consent after he allegedly admitted to masturbating to the images, according to police.
He could be arrested for trespassing if he is spotted at the malls, according to Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.
Undercover officers first spotted Birkeland at about 2:50 p.m. standing at the Galleria's center court, where he reportedly followed a woman up an escalator, pointed his cell phone camera at her buttocks and possibly photographed up her shorts, according to police. She was not aware of the Birkeland's actions, but an officer notified her.
Police reportedly continued to follow Birkeland as he went to the Americana and saw him point his cell phone camera at the buttocks of five unwitting women.
Later, Birkeland entered the In-N-Out restaurant in the 100 block of Brand Boulevard, where officers saw him zooming in and out of photographs of women's buttocks on his cell phone, police said.
It was there that he allegedly continued to take photographs, including at least one of an underage girl.
As officers approached Birkeland, police said he tried to walk away, but was stopped.
Birkeland, who works at Pacific Theaters in the Americana, apologized for photographing the girls and woman, adding that he knew his actions were wrong, according to police.
Americana officials declined to comment on the incident, so it's unclear whether they would push to have him arrested for trespassing, should he show up for work. And representatives for Pacific Theaters did not return calls for comment.
Police reported finding pornographic videos, photographs of buttocks and crotches of several women and a photo of several high school girls wearing shorts on Birkeland's phone.
An investigation into the case remained ongoing Thursday as detectives issued a search warrant at Birkeland's home and seized his computer, Lorenz said, adding that the move would hinder any illegal photographs from being uploaded or distributed.
Lorenz said a forensic examination of Birkeland's computer would likely take months.