Garden Grove neighborhood latest to discover hidden camera planted outside home

The suspect went out of their way to disguise the camera and cords with camouflage tape and leaves, Garden Grove police say.

David González Image
Friday, May 31, 2024
Hidden camera found planted outside Garden Grove home
A Garden Grove neighborhood is on high alert after a hidden camera was found in the yard of a home.

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (KABC) -- Residents living on Ernest Fulsom Drive in Garden Grove are trying to figure out who is behind a hidden camera planted outside one of their homes.

Gary DePerio has lived on the small neighborhood street for 30 years.

"If they could do it in this neighborhood, they could do it anywhere," he said. "You can tell that the people that created this device are what you would say ill-intent."

The device, a camera connected to two battery packs, was discovered in a bush on May 23.

Garden Grove police Sgt. Nick Jensen said the person responsible went out of their way to paint and disguise the camera and cords with camouflage tape and leaves.

"It's pretty scary," Jensen said. "It's kind of a scary feeling to know somebody is watching you. There's always the chance that somebody could be watching you from down the street in their car but now they don't even have to be there."

Investigators don't know why the camera was placed in this neighborhood, but add it was pointed in the direction of a home and had a view of the street.

"It's pretty sophisticated. If somebody is just going to break into your house they're going to break into your house, but this is - somebody doing planning," Jensen said. "They're watching, they're trying to gather information so they can see when you come and go."

Garden Grove police is aware similar devices have been found across SoCal.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department warns of thieves tied to South American theft rings hiding cameras to monitor homes ahead of break-ins.

Earlier this month, four so-called "burglary tourists" from Colombia were arrested during a traffic stop in Glendale.

DePerio's sister, Gay DePerio, lives next door.

She helps lead the Neighborhood Watch in her community.

"You have to get involved just to stay safe," Gay said.

Now more than ever she said they have to keep an eye on each other.

"There are children, families with children here, so we have to keep them safe, too," Gay said.

"I hope everybody else is more vigilant because the more we stick together and everybody is aware then we could stop this from happening," her brother said.

Police are working on trying to download any possible footage that may have been recorded onto the camera.

In the meantime, they are working with other agencies to see if this is part of an even bigger problem.