AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Auburn Hills Police Department said two people broke into a shed under a billboard, hacked into a computer, and put pornography on the digital billboard along I-75 over the weekend.
"(A) 3-foot by 3-foot shack, which houses a computer inside," said Auburn Hills Police Lt. Ryan Gagnon when describing where the suspects broke into.
That computer was hacked to play the pornographic video.
Update to the pornographic billboard story:— Syma Chowdhry (@SymaChowdhry) September 30, 2019
Just talked to @AHPOLICE - they say the 2 people in this video broke into a shed that is under the billboard on I-75 & hacked into the computer system to play the offensive video.
This crime went from a misdemeanor to now a felony. pic.twitter.com/6Ug3UpGo4A
The video played Saturday night around 10:30 on northbound I-75 near M-59. Police said the company that operates the billboard took the video down once they discovered it was playing. It may have been playing for around 15 minutes.
Police learned about the video playing on the billboard from callers on the freeway. The company was able to stop the video remotely.
It's owned by Triple Communications, a subsidiary of Triple Investment Group, the same group that owns the Pontiac Silverdome. Police said representatives from the group have been cooperating with investigators.
Surveillance video from inside the shack is pretty clear. However, it's hard to see the suspects' features because they're covering their faces and wearing hoodies. You can see that they are both wearing glasses.
When the suspects walked in they pushed the camera away.
Now there are many questions surrounding the investigation – like, how did the two knoe there was a computer inside the shack even though it's surrounded by a fence and shrubs?
According to police, it was originally a misdemeanor crime, but after surveillance video of the break-in, it turned into a felony.
“Whatever these guys were doing, if they thought it was a practical joke or a prank, it just elevated to a felony by breaking into a building,” Lt. Gagnon said.