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Downtown San Jose Condo Residents Unnerved By Peeping Drones, City May Crack Down

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- Elsvette Buenaventura just moved into her 10th floor condo in downtown San Jose. But lately, the million-dollar view is as unnerving as it is beautiful.

Neighbors snapped a picture of a drone buzzing outside their windows. "It was hovering probably two feet from the window," Buenaventura told KPIX 5.

The drone has been by three separate times in the month of October, at all hours of the day.

"At 10:30 at night, it's not fun having someone fly a drone up and down your building," Buenaventura said.

Buenaventura's neighbor David, who did not want his last name revealed, said, "It was kind of right there, near the bird feeder."

David said he has now covered up his windows. "For the last two weeks, we've really had to look over our shoulder and you never know when somebody's going to be looking in the window at you," he said.

Drones buzzing buildings captured media attention earlier this year. In Vancouver, a drone was captured on video flying near a high rise at night. In Seattle, a woman snapped a photo of a drone flying near her condo. However, it later turned out to be a film crew.

Peeping drones have even become a topic on Comedy Central's "South Park."

Meanwhile in San Jose, residents were ready with their cameras and called police when the man with the drone kept coming back. When they rushed down and tried to confront him, he took off on his skateboard.

The San Jose Downtown Residents Association is now pushing for a city ordinance to create a drone buffer zone around high rise buildings.

SK Panda of the association told KPIX 5, "Just respect people's privacy. We don't like this. We do not feel comfortable when you walk to your balcony and see a drone right in your face."

San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo said shaming the man might work just as well.

"I think the important thing is simply to ensure that whoever this person is they know that they're being watched. And certainly media attention is a good thing in that regard," Liccardo said.


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