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Los Angeles County, California residents are being warned about a concerning trend in which South Americans in the U.S. on limited visas are using hidden cameras to stake out potential burglary targets. The LA County Sheriff’s Office has released images of hidden cameras and battery packs that were found in a resident’s flower bed. These so-called South American Theft Groups (SATG) are typically made up of Chilean or Colombian nationals who are in the U.S. on tourist visas and engage in organized criminal activities such as burglaries and thefts.

These criminal groups strategically place hidden surveillance devices such as cameras in natural surroundings like bushes and leaves in the front or backyards of homes. This allows them to monitor homeowner activities and movement patterns in real-time from remote locations. With the use of technology, they are able to access and control the cameras easily. Before hiding the devices, the criminals carefully scout out optimal locations with minimal visibility and quickly deploy the cameras to avoid detection by homeowners or law enforcement officials.

To combat this threat, the sheriff’s office is advising residents to remain vigilant and look out for any suspicious activity or strange objects in their yards or bushes. Homeowners are encouraged to regularly inspect their properties for signs of tampering or unusual placements of objects. Additionally, installing motion-activated lights, perimeter fencing, or surveillance systems can help to deter criminals and prevent potential threats. If anything suspicious is discovered, residents are urged to report it to local law enforcement officials immediately.

The sheriff’s office is emphasizing the importance of community awareness and involvement in identifying and preventing crimes committed by these South American Theft Groups. By reporting any suspicious activity or objects, residents can help law enforcement officials take action and protect their communities from these criminal enterprises. This warning serves as a reminder for residents to take proactive measures to ensure the safety and security of their homes and neighborhoods. With the cooperation of the community and law enforcement, efforts can be made to combat and deter burglaries and thefts carried out by organized criminal groups.

Residents in LA County are urged to call 800-222-TIPS or visit to report any suspicious findings related to hidden cameras or other criminal activities. The sheriff’s office is committed to addressing these security concerns and working together with the community to maintain the safety and well-being of all residents in the area. By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, residents can help prevent potential burglaries and protect their homes from being targeted by criminal groups using hidden surveillance devices.

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