Hidden camera found outside Alhambra home on same day robbers try to break neighbor's house

Police are reminding homeowners to be aware after a hidden camera was found in the bushes outside an Alhambra home. 

Officers responded to a call reporting an attempted burglary at a home in the 1900 block of S. Primrose Avenue Tuesday night. 

A hidden camera was found outside an Alhambra home recently, prompting authorities to issue a warning to residents. / Alhambra Police Department

A woman, who wants to stay anonymous, said she found the hidden camera outside her home on Monday, while watering plants.

"I got scared," the woman said.  "I heard about [these on] the news last week."

The woman said she discovered the hidden camera inside a bush the same day burglars tried breaking into her neighbor’s home across the street. According to police, the thieves tried getting inside through a window. However, an alarm system spooked them, and they left.

The woman isn’t sure how long ago the camera was placed outside her home.

"I have no idea," said the woman. "I water my bushes every other day. I don’t know how long it’s been there or what."

Experts say these hidden cameras can be streamed and watched live from other locations. In addition, they’re hard to detect.

RELATED: Hidden camera found in flower bed of SoCal homeowner; LASD warns residents of 'burglary tourism'

"Unfortunately, camouflage cameras are a tactic being used in residential burglaries," police warned residents "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," 

Last month, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Malibu/Lost Hill Station issued a warning to its residents after a hidden camera and battery pack were discovered in a Calabasas resident's flower bed. 

The Sheriff's Department highlighted that South American Theft Groups (SATG), often comprising Chilean or Colombian nationals, are known to use covert tactics such as concealing surveillance devices in natural surroundings like leaves and bushes. These organized criminal enterprises travel across states committing burglaries and thefts, often while on limited tourist visas.

RELATED: Hidden camera found in planter at Calabasas home

In Glendale, police arrested four Colombian nationals in connection with what they said was a "burglary tourism" ring. Similar to the case in Malibu, the suspects allegedly put cameras in a planter outside of one of the homes.

"[They're] obviously a great tool for the thief and extremely hard to catch," said Thomas Ham.

Ham is the owner of Ham Investigations, a company that provides surveillance debugging investigations "bug sweeps" across the country. While they use professional tools, Ham says most detection products available online are unreliable in finding surveillance devices. He believes vigilance is key.

"Being hypervigilant of your observations," said Ham.  "Take a nice slow walk around when it’s darker. If you have a flashlight and you’re looking at the bushes and trees, sometimes you will catch [a camera’s] reflection."

Residents in Alhambra said they’re nervous and hopeful police catch whoever hid the camera on Primrose Avenue.

"Be aware," said the woman. "Go around your area and make sure everything is okay."