North County residents who recently had contract work done in their homes are being warned to check their ventilation systems after a San Miguel contractor was arrested for allegedly placing cameras behind air vents.
Eutimio Contreras Anguiano, 34, of San Miguel, was a contractor who worked on homes in San Miguel, Atascadero and Paso Robles, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Cipolla.
Anguiano was arrested April 13 on multiple charges of burglary, eavesdropping and making criminal threats following a March 18 burglary at a home in the area of Bonita Place and Verde Place in San Miguel. During the investigation, detectives discovered the suspect had gained access to three homes in the area and installed wireless cameras behind vents in victims’ master bedrooms, recording images with the use of a receiver.
Following an investigation, Anguiano was identified as a suspect after detectives learned he performed contracting work on each of the homes. Cipolla said items stolen from at least one of the homes were “of a personal nature.”
After he was named as a suspect in the investigation, Anguiano allegedly tried to intimidate and threaten one of the alleged victims before his arrest.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Anguiano remained in custody in lieu of $650,000 bail. According to jail logs, he is being held on suspicion of three counts of burglary, three counts of eavesdropping, three counts of selling eavesdropping equipment, two counts of trespassing, one count of criminal threats, one count of trying to dissuade a witness and one count of stalking.
Cipolla added that much of the contracted work was done in self-help housing properties. But sheriff’s detectives are still investigating the case and are encouraging residents to check their vents for any signs of tampering.