wplg logo

Pembroke Pines martial arts instructor arrested for allegedly placing hidden cameras in bathroom

Police in Broward County arrested a martial arts instructor after receiving reports of hidden cameras placed in the restroom of his academy.

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – Police in Broward County arrested a martial arts instructor after receiving reports of hidden cameras placed in the restroom of his academy.

According to Pembroke Pines police, 64-year-old Robert Franco was arrested on Friday.

Investigators said a 17-year-old female student of Franco’s noticed two hidden cameras inside of picture frames on a shelf in the bathroom of his business, Master Franco’s Taekwondo Academy, located at 11090 Pines Boulevard.

The incident in question took place on July 29 at approximately 3:40 p.m.

The student took pictures of the hidden cameras and then confronted Franco, who police said immediately destroyed the frames and cameras.

Mugshot for 64-year-old Robert Franco. (Broward Sheriff's Office)

According to police, the student called her father and told him what happened, and he quickly came to the academy and called 911.

Authorities arrived and began their investigation. Several days later, an arrest warrant was issued for Franco. He surrendered himself to the Broward County Jail on Friday.

Investigators are searching through a seized phone and computer. Police said the content they’ve obtained thus far included children and adults.

Authorities believe the cameras had been in the restroom since March of this year, which is when Franco took over the academy.

According to police, Franco gave an explanation for the cameras, but officers said that explanation was not reasonable.

Pembroke Pines police are asking anyone who attended or visited, or whose children attended or visited, Master Franco’s Taekwondo Academy and used the restroom to contact the Special Victims Unit at 954-743-1637.

“The Pembroke Pines Police Department fully anticipates more victims to come forward,” said Capt. Adam Feiner with Pembroke Pines PD. “We haven’t identified them yet and need the communities help to do so.”

Franco is facing multiple charges of video voyeurism. He has also been charged with tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.


About the Authors:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.