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Hidden Cameras Could Be Reason Behind Rising Home Burglaries, Police Say: What to Know

More and more residents are finding disguised cameras in their yards.

With video doorbells, Wi-Fi security cameras, and voice-activated alarm systems gaining popularity, the smart home security market is projected to double from $40.7 billion to $84.4 billion by 2027, according to The company's 2023 Home Security Market Report found that 72 percent of U.S. homeowners have some type of security system installed, and it's estimated that 10 million Americans use a Ring doorbell. But just as we have access to high-tech surveillance systems, so do thieves.

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In a new Facebook post, Alhambra police officers are urging Southern California residents to scour the outskirts of their homes after a hidden camera was found on a local property.

"The victim's neighbor found a hidden camera in the bushes pointing toward their home," revealed authorities.

The incident occurred on Monday night. Local police responded to a call of an attempted burglary. At the scene, a hidden camera was uncovered, and the targeted homeowner said their alarm system had also alerted them of an attempt to open a kitchen window earlier that day.

Alongside the notice, officials attached a photo of the hidden camera to help residents identify possible devices in their own neighborhood. The recorder is discretely nestled in a pile of dirt and leaves in a green pot. However, a closer look at the faux plant shows a visible lens in the center.

"Unfortunately, camouflage cameras are a tactic being used in residential burglaries. These cameras are strategically placed in discrete areas, such as bushes, to allow thieves to gather information about homeowners' daily routines to burglarize their homes," explained police.

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This isn't the first time a hidden camera was discovered at a Southern California home. In late May, a camouflaged device was uncovered in bushes and angled at a residence with a Garden Grove address, per KTLA. That same month KTLA also reported that someone found a cordless camera disguised as a rock pointed at someone's home in Chino Hills.

With attempted home burglaries on the rise, the Alhambra Police Department urges residents to avoid leaving spare house keys under planters or doormats and to double-check that all screens, doors, and windows are locked when leaving, "even if only for a moment."

"If you spot a suspicious vehicle, write down the license plate and report it," they also instructed in the post. "If you spot a broken window or open door, do not enter and call police immediately."

When in doubt, install home security systems and turn on notifications for any suspicious activity. Additionally, police say one of the best defenses against home invasions is "good lighting" near the front door and exterior walls. And lastly, keep nearby bushes and trees well-trimmed so they don't turn into hiding spots.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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