Story Posted for David Sampson
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) – A California woman made a horrifying discovery in her apartment. What she thought was a smoke detector turned out to be a motion-activated video camera positioned over her bed.
Carlyn Perry says she plans to move out of her Sacramento, California, apartment after she found a camera installed on her bedroom ceiling. She thought the device was a smoke detector.
“It’s just a really violating feeling, for sure,” she said. “There’s really no way for me to know how long it was there before I found it.”
Perry says last month, her apartment complex let her know a maintenance person would be keying into her unit to service the fire alarms. A few days later, she noticed the device’s cover had fallen open. She went out of town with her boyfriend, and upon her return, she noticed the cover was back up.
“So, I asked him if he’d fixed it for me, just like, ‘Oh, thanks for fixing that.’ And he was like, ‘I didn’t fix it,’” Perry said.
Confused, the couple decided to take a closer look. That’s when they discovered the device wasn’t a smoke detector at all but a motion-activated surveillance system with a memory card inside. The camera was pointed right at Perry’s bed.
Video on the memory card shows an unknown person installing the camera in her room. It also captured the moments she and her boyfriend realized their every move was being recorded.
Perry notified the management office at VivLeo Apartments and filed a report with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. She says she will never again feel the inherent safety she thought she could count on in her own home.
“As a woman, you know, living alone in any city, there’s such a sense of when you’re out and about, you kind of have to be constantly on alert about your safety and your surroundings. But you know, you have a sense of safety in your own home, and it just kind of violates that,” she said.
Perry has been staying with family since the discovery and has decided to move out. She says the apartment managers are allowing her to get out of her lease.
“I didn’t stay here at all after we found it because it just – I was so creeped out about being here,” she said.
She’s now warning other renters to check their spaces to ensure their own privacy.
“People should be aware. I know I would have never thought to look for that kind of thing in my home,” Perry said.
VivLeo Apartments did not respond to several communication attempts to ask what they’re doing to protect other tenants’ privacy and fire safety as well as whether they’re conducting an investigation into whether one of their employees may be responsible for installing the camera.