Maryland burglary suspects that targeted Asians linked to South American theft group

Maryland burglary suspects that targeted Asians linked to South American theft groupMaryland burglary suspects that targeted Asians linked to South American theft group
via Baltimore County Police Department / Facebook, WBAL-TV 11 Baltimore / YouTube
Five men believed to be part of a South American theft group that typically targets Asian business owners in multiple states have been arrested in Baltimore County, Maryland, police announced on Wednesday.
Key points:
  • The suspects were arrested on Feb. 3 after attempting to ransack a home in Tufton Springs Lane in Reisterstown.
  • The South American theft group has allegedly committed burglaries across Maryland, Alabama, North Carolina and Oklahoma, going after cash and luxury items.
  • Baltimore County police said the group often targets large homes belonging to Asian business owners in wealthy areas.
The details:
  • The Reisterstown homeowner called 911 upon seeing the suspects on surveillance camera. Following their arrests, they claimed that they lived in Florida and came to Maryland to visit the White House.
  • The suspects, who all had Chilean identification cards, were identified as Gabriel Matamala-Ponce, 20; Thomas Crisosto-Araya, 21; Jorge Gatica-Vergara, 22; Luis Oyanedel-Valenzuela, 23; and Gabriel Miranda-Gonzalez, 27. Chile is the only South American country that does not require a background check to obtain a visa.
via Baltimore County Police Department
  • The men have reportedly been charged with first-degree burglary and related offenses. Authorities linked them to at least four other burglaries in the Cockeysville, Essex and Franklin areas.
  • All five are being held without bond at the Baltimore County Detention Center. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement also has them on detainers.
  • In charging documents, police said that its burglary unit has handled “many cases” since July 2023 that appeared to be connected to a South American theft group, who were described as “a traveling unsettled group who do not reside in the area where they commit their crimes.”
  • One home reportedly suffered a total loss of $820,000 in property.
What’s next:
  • Investigations into the burglaries continue. In the meantime, homeowners are encouraged to boost their home security measures, while those victimized are asked to report to police.
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