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Illegal immigrants targeting Arizona home in burglaries, police say

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A home theft ring run by members of a South American criminal organization is targeting luxury homes in the Phoenix area, resulting in the arrest of three Chileans living in the United States illegally, authorities said.

The group is believed to be involved in at least 111 incidents since February 2023, which typically occur on weekends, Fox 10 reported. Approximately $3 million in cash, jewelry and other items were stolen, authorities said.

Three suspects were arrested last week. They were identified as Ellen Gutierrez Saez, 20. Johan Salvo Aracon (21) and Manuel Eduardo Fuentes Gómez (25). They are in the United States illegally from Chile, according to arrest reports obtained by news outlets.

The three men are believed to be members of a South American criminal organization operating in the United States, whose members engage in robbery, fraud, and trafficking of stolen goods.

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Sue Ellen Gutierrez Saez, 20 years old. Johan Salvo Aracon, 21 years old. Manuel Eduardo Fuentes Gomez, 25 years old. He was arrested in Arizona on suspicion of committing residential burglaries as part of a South American criminal organization. (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office)

Most of the crimes occurred in Phoenix and the suburbs of Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Gilbert and Peoria.

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Authorities received information from a California law enforcement agency investigating members of the same group. As a result, Arizona authorities went to the Camelback Mountain area and three people were arrested as a result, news reports said.

Group members often choose homes near golf courses or open areas, so they can park more away and walk home unnoticed. They are said to have introduced technology that used cell phone data and Wi-Fi to jam home surveillance cameras during robberies.

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In one robbery, suspects stole $33,000 worth of guns, jewelry and cash from a residence, according to court documents.

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