Los Angeles/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on May 29, 2024
Southern California on Alert as Hidden Cameras Unearthed in Multiple Cities Amid Burglary ConcernsSource: LASD - Malibu/Lost Hills Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff

Residents across Southern California are urged to increase their vigilance after multiple hidden cameras were discovered in seemingly innocuous backyard items, like flower beds and bushes, prompting fears of a surveillance-driven burglary spree by international thieves. The latest incident in Agoura Hills involved a homeowner finding a covert camera nestled in their flower bed, as reported by CBS News Los Angeles, adding to a string of similar finds in Chino Hills, Temecula, and Glendale.

The situation has unsettled residents, with one from Saratoga Hills, Jim Spach, describing the discovery as "invasive" and "scary," according to NBC Los Angeles, while another, Kim Spaulding, lamented the worry about potential violations upon returning home; neighbors are now double-checking their yards for any unusual devices. Four Colombian nationals, allegedly part of a so-called "burglary tourism ring," were recently apprehended in Glendale where hidden cameras and stolen goods were discovered signaling an organized operation by foreign nationals, typically from South America, who enter the US on tourist visas to carry out such crimes.

In a statement obtained by KTLA, a Garden Grove resident, only identified as Lisa, recounted the shock of discovering a bag containing a camera and battery pack in her neighbor's bush, a find that echoes the previous incidents and heats up concerns over privacy and security in the community. 

Residents are encouraged to immediately report any suspicious findings to local authorities, with the Malibu/Lost Hills Station at (818) 878-1808 cited as a contact point in an alert posted by authorities and shared by LASD - Malibu/Lost Hills Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff which details the strategies commonly used by theft groups including covert placement of surveillance devices and remote access to live feeds; aiming to hone in on a homeowner's habits to strategize their ill-intended invasions. Besides heightened vigilance, the community is prompted to enhance home security measures and reach out with any relevant tips to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477 or via their website for those preferring to remain anonymous.