Los Angeles County, California, residents are being warned about a growing trend in which South Americans in the U.S. on limited visas are stashing hidden cameras in shrubs and gardens to stake out their next burglary.

The LA County Sheriff’s Office released images of a camera and battery pack that a local resident turned in after finding the hidden surveillance equipment in their flower bed.

According to the sheriff’s office, so-called South American Theft Groups [SATG] are typically made up of Chilean or Colombian nationals who are in the U.S. on limited tourist visas.

The “highly organized criminal enterprises” go from state-to-state, committing burglaries and thefts.

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Their tactics, officials said, involve concealing surveillance devices such as hidden cameras, in natural surroundings like bushes and leaves.

The devices are strategically placed in the front or backyards of homes to allow the culprits to monitor homeowner activities, as well as movement patterns.

The group uses technology that lets them access the cameras from remote locations, giving them the ability to conduct real-time surveillance, the sheriff’s office noted.

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Even before the devices are hidden, the criminal organizations scout out optimal locations that have minimal visibility.

The perpetrators then move quickly to deploy the cameras within minutes, the sheriff’s office added, to minimize the possibility of being seen by homeowners or law enforcement officials.

The sheriff’s office urged residents to remain vigilant and be on the lookout for any suspicious activity or unusual objects in yards or bushes.

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To do so, officials suggest homeowners perform regular inspections of the property and look for signs of tampering or oddly placed objects.

Law enforcement officials also suggest homeowners install motion-activated lights, perimeter fencing or surveillance systems to prevent threats.

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The sheriff’s office encourages anyone who finds anything suspicious to report the findings to local law enforcement officials immediately.

In LA County, residents can call 800-222-TIPS, or visit lacrimestoppers.org.