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California burglaries by South American theft ring involve hidden cameras in shrubbery

Residents of Los Angeles County, California, are being warned about a growing trend of South Americans in the United States on restricted visas setting up hidden cameras in shrubs and gardens to watch out for the next burglar.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released images of the camera and battery pack that a local resident reported after finding the surveillance device hidden in a flower bed.

According to the sheriff’s office, the so-called South American theft ring [SATG] They are typically made up of Chileans or Colombians who are in the U.S. on limited tourist visas.

“Highly organised criminal gangs” travel from state to state committing robberies and thefts.

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents to be on the lookout for hidden cameras in shrubs that burglars could use to spy on their homes. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

Officials say their tactic involves hiding hidden cameras and other surveillance equipment in natural environments such as bushes and foliage.

These devices are strategically placed in the front and back yards of homes to allow criminals to monitor the homeowners’ activities and movement patterns.

The sheriff’s office said the group uses technology that allows them to access cameras remotely and conduct real-time monitoring.

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hidden camera battery

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is warning residents to be on the lookout for hidden cameras in shrubs that burglars could use to spy on their homes. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

Even before the device is hidden, criminal organisations scout the best locations to minimise visibility.

The sheriff’s office added that the perpetrators quickly set up the cameras within minutes to minimize the chance of being spotted by homeowners or officers.

The sheriff’s office urged residents to remain vigilant and to be on the lookout for suspicious activity or unusual objects in yards or bushes.

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Planting pansies

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is urging residents to be on the lookout for hidden cameras when gardening outdoors, following a new trend of burglars hiding the technology in shrubs and yards to provide surveillance before entering homes. (iStock)

To that end, officials encourage homeowners to regularly inspect their properties, looking for signs of tampering or objects placed in out of place locations.

Law enforcement officials also recommend homeowners install motion-detecting lighting, perimeter fencing and surveillance systems to ward off threats.

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The sheriff’s office is urging anyone who sees anything suspicious to report it to their local law enforcement agency immediately.

LA County residents can call 800-222-TIPS or visit lacrimestoppers.org.

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