CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) - Residents at a Citrus Heights apartment complex want something done about a prying eye pointed towards their hot tub from behind a neighbor's fence.
Is it legal to point a surveillance camera over the fence into a neighboring yard? According to a legal expert we spoke with it's probably not a crime since the camera does not peer through any holes. However, it makes residents at the Foxborough Apartments feel uncomfortable.
"There is a creepy camera right there pointing at the hot tub," said Andrea Bryant, a resident at Foxborough.
Bryant doesn't want to go into her apartment's hot tub anymore after noticing the camera while she was in the hot tub.
"One of my neighbors said, "Did you know you're being recorded?" And I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "Look at that camera,'" said Bryant.
It was looking right at her.
"It's totally an invasion of privacy. It's very uncomfortable," she said.
And with all these kids around, parents say the camera makes them feel uneasy too.
"Actually it's not safe to come here because you don't know who's watching you," said Zainab Hasan, a parent.
We wanted to know who was watching them.
Mark Suttie says yes, it's his camera.
Denise Wong: "Why do you have a camera in your backyard?"
Mark Suttie: "Because people throw garbage over here. They throw...my neighbors had syringes thrown over."
Suttie says since he's put it up about a year and a half ago, vandalism on his property has gone down.
But we wanted to know, is this legal?
"This issue is right on the borderline of law, as to whether or not somebody can do this, place a camera in a way to look into their neighbor's yard," said Attorney Jeff Kravitz.
Kravitz says it's probably not crime since the camera is clearly visible and not peeping through a hole. But neighbors may have a civil case when it comes to invasion of privacy.
Still, Suttie says he has no plans to take it down.
"No, because it keeps them from throwing stuff over here," he said.
As a grandfather, Suttie says he's concerned about the safety of his family as well. He says he doesn't want dangerous trash in his yard.
Suttie says the camera only turns on starting at 10 p.m. when the hot tub is closed to residents anyway.
He also has several surveillance cameras aimed on his own property -- not just the hot tub.
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