Thieves infiltrate US to target cash-rich homes as part of ‘Criminal Tourism’ round

These are not the usual suspects. A multi-stage high-tech investigation has resulted in the discovery of a multi-million dollar international “travel crime” ring targeting Asian and Middle Eastern residents across the country. . Complicated investigation, first reported by The Washington Post, which began after a string of break-ins into high-end homes in affluent Fairfax County, Virginia, near Washington, DC

Investigators said the thieves were part of an international organization based in South America that brought “criminal tourists” from places like Colombia and Chile to the US under a market-free program real. Once in the US, they relied on a global network to research and target most Asian and Middle Eastern homes, the goal being because they were more likely to keep their precious jewelry and cash in their possession. home rather than a bank.

The FBI estimates that the ring, which has a lot of attention around the DC area but also operates in other states, has earned more than $2 million in cash and stolen jewelry over the past two years alone. exclusively in the DC area.

Few thieves, who acted as foot soldiers for the larger network, were caught as most were only in the US for a short time. It’s not clear where all the goods were stolen, exactly where, or who the US-based link in the crime chain is, follow Post.

People who are arrested often bail themselves and forgo bail. Because burglaries often include smaller items, federals rarely get involved, making them harder to track as they bypass town.

FBI Criminal Investigation Director Dan Heath Talk to Post that these so-called “South American theft groups” are on the rise in the US and are also active in India, the UK and Australia, where the rich in Asia and the Middle East live. “They represent a huge threat right now in our country,” Heath told the Post. “They are tending to thread the needle in avoiding both state and federal prosecution.”

The FBI really cracked the first case when two of the thieves suspected of tying a ring were discovered after their white Infiniti broke down in suburban Atlanta. A sharp-eyed sheriff didn’t buy the story that two Puerto Rican men were returning from one of a man’s girlfriend’s homes, thanks in part to tree branches caught in one of the sets. men’s clothing. Undoubtedly, the men, who were not arrested at the time, were later arrested in a break-in attempt.

That incident led investigators to a number of other thieves, who used clever tactics like using jammers to block thieves from breaking into cars, or cutting off security systems. and let the battery drain to backup before stealing the store. In Southern California, thieves cut a hole in the roof of a jewelry store that they cut off power to security and backup systems, then used their own generators to break into a safe. worth £5,000. They got $1.2 million in gems, follow Post.

Investigators then filed a search warrant with Google to obtain a list of registered mobile devices operating near the site of the break-ins. By cross-referencing the numbers, they were able to identify similar phone numbers and track down the culprit. In one case, they used secret GPS tracking devices on cars suspected of being used by thieves to track their movements.

The investigation, which is still ongoing, has found that many thieves use fake documents or stolen identities to enter the country as tourists from countries that are eligible for the Power System. ESTA travel permit or visa exemption. They then target the victims, tracking when they leave the house and move.

Police Talk to Post To date they have connected travel crime cells to more than 100 thefts that grossed over $3.6 million. Thieves infiltrate US to target cash-rich homes as part of ‘Criminal Tourism’ round


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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