Saturday, March 30, 2024

Maryland Burglars Linked to South American Theft Group Connected to Cases in Multiple States; Chilean Burglars Targeted ‘millionaire Neighborhoods’ in Baltimore County, Police Say

Baltimore County Police Twitter
Maryland burglars linked to South American theft group connected to cases in multiple states: police:
All 5 suspects face first-degree burglary charged and have allegedly been linked to crimes in North Carolina, Alabama and Oklahoma
Police in Maryland arrested five men for burglary in February, who are now suspected of being part of a South American theft group connected to crimes across multiple states.
The Baltimore County Police Department said 20-year-old Gabriel Matamala-Ponce; 21-year-old Thomas Crisosto-Araya; 22-year-old Jorge Gatica-Vergara; 23-year-old Luis Oyanedel-Valenzuela; and 27-year-old Gabriel Miranda-Gonzalez, have all been arrested and charged with first-degree burglary and other burglary-related charges.
Officers responded to the 2300 block of Tufton Springs Lane at about 6:45 p.m. on Feb. 3, after receiving reports of a burglary in progress.
When officers arrived, they located the alleged suspects fleeing from the scene in a vehicle.
Police were able to stop the suspects and took them into custody.
Detectives conducted a follow-up investigation and learned the suspects were possibly connected to four other residential burglaries in Baltimore County. --->READ MORE HERE
Chilean burglars targeted ‘millionaire neighborhoods’ in Baltimore County, police say:
Attorney Andrew Slutkin thought his Lutherville home was secure: It had a sophisticated alarm system with the outside “lit up like a Christmas tree” and valuables in a safe concealed inside.
While at the Eastern Shore for July Fourth weekend, his alarm never went off. But he was later informed by his landscaper that the home had been broken into. When he spoke to Baltimore County Police, he received even more of a shock: Investigators believed it was the work of a crew of burglars from South America who had been hitting high-end homes in the area.
Through word of mouth, he learned his neighbors and friends of friends were also burglarized.
“Since this happened, we’ve learned that two other neighbors on our street have been burglarized,” Slutkin said. “I’m aware of at least a half-dozen people within a few miles of where we live who have been similarly burglarized in the last six months.”
Following an inquiry by The Baltimore Banner this week, county police announced that five suspects had been arrested on Feb. 3. In court records, police said the suspects were positively identified through border control as members of an organization known as the South American Theft Group, and the police department said the men caught in Baltimore County have been connected to additional residential burglaries in North Carolina, Alabama and Oklahoma.
The groups “targets large homes in wealthy areas of often Asian business owners. Detectives know the group to be a travelling unsettled group who do not reside in the area where they commit their crimes. The group travels around the country committing thefts/burglaries then leave the area before they are identified or apprehended,” police wrote in charging documents.
The FBI has warned about such South American theft groups for decades, and in December said they believed such burglars are exploiting tourist visas to travel in and out of the United States and facilitate the theft and transport of stolen goods internationally. News reports tied crews to a recent $1.7 million theft in Connecticut, among many others.
The group suspected to be operating in Baltimore County was caught after police received a call from a homeowner saying there was a burglary in process at a home on Tufton Springs Lane.
The men, who charging documents say were carrying Chilean identification cards and burglar’s tools, told police they lived in Florida and came to Maryland to visit the White House. --->READ MORE HERE
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