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Law enforcement officials are warning residents to be extra cautious after an increase in burglaries allegedly committed by South American crime rings. News headlines across the country are exposing a new, more dangerous burglary threat. Florida, New York, New Jersey, California, and others, are all being hit.

Chilean burglary rings are quick, efficient, and rarely caught.

They Are Trained & Sophisticated

These “South American theft groups”, also referred to as “Chilean tourist burglars” or “crime tourists”, are coming to the U.S. on 90-day travel visas after being trained and equipped in their home country. The expertise and tools they bring are resulting in affluent neighborhoods being ravaged – 10, 15 and 20 homes in single neighborhoods are being hit by these groups. Individual residents report they have lost a quarter of a million dollars in cash and jewelry, some more than that. Often these burglars get away, but occasionally police and sheriff are successful in capturing a few of these individuals. However these few arrests haven’t slowed down the attacks.

Homeowners who believe they have done all the right things, are shocked by what they find when they return to a revenged home after vacation or simply dinner out.

Please don’t make the mistake by thinking you are immune because you live in an upscale community. That’s exactly where they strike.

These burglars typically work in groups of three to six. They case a neighborhood and often come in through windows or sliding glass doors between the hours of 6pm and midnight while residents are away. If you have a second floor, they’ll enter there where most don’t have sensors. Security video has captured numerous of these groups wearing hats, hooded sweatshirts, face coverings, gloves, backpacks and carrying flashlights. These individuals are generally younger and not very big. They travel in rented high-end cars, SUVs or minivans to fit in with the neighborhood.

Lower quality safes are being broken into or taken away. Often these groups hit homes adjacent to a vacant lot, or backing a slope, open space or golf course.

One of these groups has reportedly hit over 100 private homes stealing cash, jewelry, watches, and designer handbags and clothing. They move from city to city, burglarizing homes, fencing their loot, and sending home their illicit gains. Often after a successful run of burglaries they will return to Chile, only to repeat the cycle.

Targeting Wealthy Neighborhoods

Southern California has been hit particularly hard by these groups. The Huntington Harbor neighborhood of Huntington Beach had nearly 30 break-ins. Seventeen burglaries occurred in the Alessandro Heights, Hawarden Hills and Mission Grove neighborhoods of Riverside.

And this is not just happening here in the U.S., Vanity Fair reports this is happening on three continents.

“It’s a terrible feeling to know somebody has been in your space.”

From Wikipedia: The Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA, has been referenced as having enabled this type of crime in the United States as it grants “virtually automatic” 90-day visa waivers to member countries’ citizens. As of January 2022, the FBI has a task force dedicated to this crime ring.[5] Arrests have been made in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom in connection with these crime rings.

Tips from Law Enforcement

  • Make your home look occupied when gone. Put interior lights on timers. Stop the mail and paper when traveling.
  • Consider getting a FakeTV device, a TV simulator that flashes lights that make it appear a TV is on. These can be set to go on at certain times as well.
  • Lock all outside doors and windows, including property gates, before you leave or go to bed.
  • Consider installing a security system, and if you already have one, make sure alarms and cameras are working properly and not obstructed. Consider glass break alarms.
  • Bolt safes to steel or a cement slab. Ensure your safe is of higher quality, not easily pried open.
  • Get to know your neighbors and let them know when you will be away for an extended time.
  • Do not share your plans to be away on social media.
  • Consider getting a monitored alarm system with audible warnings to scare intruders away. If you have a second-story home, make sure the alarm system is installed upstairs, too.
Shop Ready To Ship Safes

A good quality safe should be your last line of defense. The goal is to prevent them from entering your house in the first place. But if they do, make sure you have a safe that’s security rating has been independently verified as all Casoro’s have been.

If you have questions about how to choose the right one for you, contact us and we can help. We’ll walk you through all the options we have available, so that you can find the best safe for your needs.

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