Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Southern California are joining forces to catch a new breed of brazen criminals using travel visas to enter the U.S. to pillage homes, businesses and automobiles.
Dubbed by authorities as “burglary tourism,” sophisticated gangs comprised of Chilean nationals are suspected of committing a string of thefts in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties, including a $1.2 million heist in March at a Laguna Niguel jewelry store.
In fact, the situation is so serious the FBI huddled Thursday in Beverly Hills with various Southern California law enforcement agencies to share intelligence and discuss the gangs’ tactics.
“We know it’s a problem that is happening in other states and countries around the world,” FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. “Southern California seems to have seen a dramatic increase in the last few months.”
Read the rest of the story on the Orange County Register
Related press release: Simi Valley | Chilean Nationals arrested for multiple burglaries