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BURGLARY TOURISM: Chilean gangs entering U.S. under visa waiver program responsible for wave of HOME BURGLARIES
By Ava Grace // May 29, 2024

Highly-trained criminal gangs from the South American nation of Chile are responsible for a wave of sophisticated burglaries targeting high-value homes, yielding millions in stolen goods.

Oakland County, Michigan Sheriff Mike Bouchard disclosed this to NewsNation, adding that the federal government's Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows the Chilean criminals to enter easily. Over 40 homes in his county, which lists executives and CEOs of the big-three auto manufacturers as some of its residents, have been burglarized by the gangs. Large stores of cash, jewelry and luxury items are among the items being stolen.

Given this, the sheriff has sounded the alarm on so-called "burglary tourism." Bouchard explained the situation and the perceived connection of this scheme to the VWP in a May 13 town hall at the Christ Church Cranbrook where he was joined by Capt. Tom Van Simaeys of the Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety and Bloomfield Township Police Chief James Gallagher.

"We believe that there has to be some kind of training camp because they come so well-trained, so equipped and so knowledgeable about how to move and how to attack a home. They do a lot of pre-op surveillance. They determine as best they can when someone won't be in a home. They go very quickly to a home, they break a window. They go through it, not opening a door or window. They have an electronic jammer," Bouchard said.

Bouchard: Only national policy will stop the Chilean burglars

The sheriff added: "They're very focused on high-end jewelry like watches, cash, high-end purses – things that are highly valuable and disposable. And out they go and they move on. They usually hit a number of homes in our area, and then they move on to another part of the country, and then another crew will come in. And it's been a cycle."

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The gangs he described are reportedly working in approximately 100 different crews with members of between three to six. They operate all over the country from New York to California. Aside from Chileans, there have also been reports of Venezuelans and Colombians being part of these burglary gangs as well.

Bouchard said his department has sought assistance from the federal government to bring the situation under control. He explained: "We're not going to stop it as a local agency or even with … state and federal partners. It’s got to be stopped by national policy."

The sheriff isn't alone in this predicament, as Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer – a Republican – has been warning about the issue since last summer. He dubbed the burglaries by Chilean gangs, which also targeted homes in Southern California, "carefully calculated and planned." (Related: South American gangs exploiting tourist visa program to burglarize wealthy San Diego neighborhoods.)

Spitzer filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for failing to respond to public records requests involving documentation on the issue. He has also called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to use his powers to strike Chile from the VWP.

In a statement, a spokesman from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed the increase in sophisticated burglaries by Chilean gangs and said they are working with authorities in Santiago to address the problem.

"DHS and our federal partners have actively engaged with all levels of the government of Chile to address this issue and have communicated the urgency of the situation. Chilean officials have responded by improving operational cooperation with DHS offices in efforts to detect, deter and prevent travel to the United States by known criminal actors," the spokesman wrote.

Bouchard isn't satisfied with Washington's response, however.

"They're aware of the fact that we're having these crimes all cross the country. But that this point, they've not shown any inclination to shut that program down, or even pause it," he said.

"They usually issue a standard statement saying they're aware and they're working closely with the Chilean government to try to increase information cooperation. That doesn't help us. Our house is on fire with these burglaries."

Visit NationalSecurity.news for similar stories.

Watch this clip about Chilean gangs returning to target luxury homes in Michigan after victimizing California neighborhoods.

This video is from the Justin Barclay channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Organized migrant gangs now targeting luxury homes in Los Angeles, Scottsdale.

Latin American gangs use security jammers to break into U.S. homes.

MS-13 and Venezuelan Tren de Aragua gangs could form ALLIANCE, warns FBI agent.

Sources include:



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