Valerie Bertinelli is not about to become a crime victim ... because she's got an eagle eye on would-be burglars who are hitting her neighborhood and gave them a big surprise.
The actress/Food Network host lives in an area of L.A. where there have been a string of burglaries, including the house next door to hers.
Well, in the wee hours of Wednesday, 2 guys -- maybe the culprits in the neighborhood -- approached her door at separate times and started scoping out her home. One of the guys was carrying a backpack and several bags. He walks near the camera and apparently spots it, because he beats a hasty retreat. Mission accomplished!!!
The 62-year-old said, "I think he stops because he sees my camera lit up. The other one came an hour before him."
She called the cops, who apparently are still on the hunt for these guys, and is doubling down on precautions ... "I'm installing more motion detector lights and thinking of putting barbed wire on my front fence. And of course my alarm gets set every night."