Yes, burglars do use video surveillance to case homes.
A video camera the size of a matchstick has been discovered in the yards of several homes in North Texas’s upscale Dalworthington Gardens, where there have been break-ins.
According to the Dalworthington Gardens police, a homeowner presented them with the device, which was found near his driveway. Analysis revealed it was video surveillance for an ongoing burglary scheme.
So police established some counter-surveillance. Sure enough, next evening a man came to the home to retrieve the camera. The crook turned out to be a 21-year-old, Cain Santoyo, whose belongings in his car were the tools of burglars: lock picking instruments, a disguise, a stun gun/flash light and multiple surveillance cameras.
Also found was a motion detector that was rigged to a small radio transmitter, which seemed to serve the purpose of alerting a burglar inside a house that the homeowners have returned.
Inside Santoyo’s house, police discovered jewelry hidden in a crawlspace. They had reason to believe he was a burglar casing out homes with his tiny video cameras placed in yards.
Nevertheless, police concluded that this burglar had already sold many stolen items online. They expect that eventually, several burglary charges will be filed.
The police point out that it’s illegal for two parties to be recorded via audio without their knowledge, which equates to another charge!
Lesson learned: If a homeowner discovers an odd trinket, even if it resembles bark from a tree, in their yard, that just doesn’t seem to belong there (it’s the only thing like it in the yard, and its source is unknown), then remove it, and consider having the police examine it. It just might be a tiny video camera that a would-be burglar placed on your property.