SANTA CLARITA - Best Buy Co., Inc. said Tuesday that it is expanding the monitoring of technicians who work for the company's Geek Squad computer-repair service - some at the Santa Clarita store reportedly copied customers' files - after a rash of Internet-fueled complaints about invasions of privacy.

A former Geek Squad member at the chain's Valencia store said a couple of young squad members often targeted pretty girls.

"Whenever an attractive female would come in, they'd go searching through the `My Documents' and `My Pictures' folders looking for pictures," said Brett Haddock, 22, an agent on the squad for about a year.

"We have USB drives we had our tools on - they would copy the (items) and take them home."

In the past few months, allegations have surfaced on the Internet about Geek Squad agents copying pornography, music and racy photos from customers' computers. Agents make tech-support house calls around-the-clock and perform computer repairs in the stores.

A spokeswoman for the Richfield, Minn.-based company said in an e-mail Tuesday that Best Buy cannot comment on allegations from former employees but noted that the company routinely monitors and reviews agents' actions.

"We are aware of recent accusations and are addressing them," said spokeswoman Paula Baldwin. "If there are policy violations at this or any other store, they are investigated thoroughly, and can be grounds for immediate termination."

Baldwin would not specifically address Haddock's assertions.

The pool of agents at the local Best Buy on Bouquet Canyon Road fluctuated, but Haddock said there were usually about a dozen. Most were conscientious, he said, but file poachers copied music and often hit the mother lode.

"We live in an age and an area of the country where everyone wants to be an amateur porn star," he said. "Everyone has quite a few pictures of themselves on their own computers."

Haddock said he's not aware of anyone posting pirated materials on the Internet but says the copiers showed items to each other and constantly jabbered about the cache.

Haddock says he reported the misbehavior to a manager who subsequently left in January. Copying became rampant after that, he said. Haddock believes some who infiltrated customers' files still work at the store.

Baldwin said the company tries to make sure all employees know the rules, and they are "reminded frequently that operating outside the rules is not tolerated."

Haddock, who quit in April, works as a full-time programmer for a software-design company.

He offered a tip for those in need of computer repairs.

"It's like when (something in) your house breaks and you have someone come in to fix your house," he said. "If there's something private you don't want other people to see, get a USB drive or put them on a CD and remove them from your computer altogether."