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Savvy thieves use devious hidden cameras to scope out houses in troubling ‘burglary tourism’ trend

Thieves in California are increasingly using deviously disguised hidden cameras to scope out homes to rob as part of a troubling trend dubbed “burglary tourism.”

The latest example occurred last week in the city of Alhambra outside Los Angeles when residents there found a small camera camouflaged with leaves and cleverly hidden in the bushes outside one house.

“The victim’s neighbor found a hidden camera in the bushes pointing toward their home,” the Alhambra Police Department said on Facebook. “[The victim’s] alarm company also notified them of an attempt to open the kitchen window earlier in the day.

“Unfortunately, camouflage cameras are a tactic being used in residential burglaries,” the department said. “These cameras are strategically placed in discreet areas such as bushes to allow thieves to gather information about homeowners’ daily routines to burglarize their homes.”

And it wasn’t the first time someone stumbled onto the devices.

In May, police in Glendale nabbed four Colombian nationals who were allegedly running “burglary tourism” scams using camouflaged cameras, KTLA-TV reported.

Police busted the crew when they spotted their vehicle driving without headlights and found video surveillance equipment, including a charging system covered with leaves, the outlet said.

Several days later, another tiny camera was found stashed outside a house in Garden Cove.

Alhambra police offered residents some tips on thwarting the high-tech thieves, including turning the tables by installing their own surveillance cameras to keep tabs on the surroundings.

Cops cautioned homeowners not to leave keys hidden outside, keep all windows and doors locked and to make sure the front porch and areas around the house are well-lit.

And of course, keep bushes well-trimmed so crooks have fewer places to hide their cameras, police said.



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