Woman finds hidden camera disguised as rock pointed at her home

A resident of Chino Hills, California, noticed an odd rock and pile of leaves across the street from a neighbor's home. Upon inspection, they found a hidden camera embedded in clay and a USB power bank under the leaves. Who, asks the woman targeted by the device, is watching her?

"I think it's really strange. I think it's really scary, because you're supposed to feel safe in your own home and your neighborhood," the woman, who wished not to be identified, said. "But, something like that happens and you really don't know anymore, times have changed."

They believe that the camera was placed on April 29, where it sat for days before being spotted by the woman's neighbor. 

"For some reason he just noticed it was a weird, awkward looking lump of leaves and then when he looked he's like, 'Uh, there's a camera down there,'" the woman said. "It's a camera wrapped in clay to make it look like a rock, attached to a power bank."

The recordings on the device begin April 29, and other neighbors checked their own security footage to reveal who put it there: a gentleman on a scooter. San Bernardino County Sheriff's department suggests it may have been used by a burglar to case the residence.

A photo released to media shows the clay-caked camera and its power bank.

Hidden cameras are popping up everywhere: one found in the office bathroom of a New Jersey chiropractor led to charges, according to police reports. In Toronto, a couple staying at an Airbnb found one in their rental. Airbnb crops up regularly in these reports—here's one couple suing after finding cameras disguised as smoke detectors in another rental—and it recently banned indoor cameras outright.

There are a variety of cheapo gadgets you can buy [e.g. on Amazon] that detect hidden cameras, but you can detect them with smartphones too: hidden cameras usually have infrared lights to watch you in the dark, which can be seen by IR-detecting apps (and perhaps the device's built-in camera app if it's dark). That said, it's a shady-as-heck app category and I haven't tested anything myself. Most hidden cameras use WiFi, too, and you can sniff them with apps for that purpose. Some recommend using thermal cameras like FlirONE to more reliably root them out, but those are costlier.