Nassau County officials have announced the arrest of three Chilean nationals tied to a recent spree of burglaries on the North Shore.
According to officials, the three are part of an organized crime group from Chile that enters the country on 90-day travel visas. The members then stake out homes in well-off areas and strike when no one is home.
The three crew members arrested were identified by police as Boneek Alexander Quintero-Baeza, 32; Alexandra Ivonne Pizarro-Blanche, 23; and Levy Frank Maury Bruggman, 23.
Investigators from Nassau’s Burglary Pattern Team arrested the three on the night of Jan. 21 in Queens, according to Ryder. A search was then conducted of their College Point residence, where police found electronics and jewelry, believed to be the stolen items from North Shore and New Jersey homes.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said last Thursday that the crew had just returned home from robbing residences in New Jersey, which police found out after arrests were made.
All three were charged with fugitive from justice charges, according to officials. Authorities have alleged that Quintero-Baeza has committed “violent robberies” in Chile and Spain.
Ryder said members of the crew are “students of the game. They’re studying where the money is,” during a news conference.
Officials said this “Chilean burglary crew” targeted homes in New Jersey and California as well. On Long Island, homes in Saddle Rock, Hewlett and Great Neck were hit by the crew, according to officials.
According to officials, an estimated $1 million in jewelry, cash and electronics has been stolen from East Coast homes.
Police arrested Bryan Alexis Farias Luna, 28, of Puente Alto, Chile, and Isaias Antonio Lienlaf Donoso, 35, of Santiago, Chile, on Dec. 10.
Police said that areas such as Manhasset, Woodbury, Jericho, Kings Point and Munsey Park have also been targeted by crew members that were taken into custody.
The pair burglarized the home of Saddle Rock Mayor Dan Levy before ending up in custody, according to the county police. According to officials, the men stole roughly $100,000 worth of family items, gold coins and watches from Levy.
“We need to continue to be vigilant,” Levy wrote in a statement after the incident. “This is not the only burglary team. So we need to continue to lock doors and keep alarms on until the other groups are apprehended as well.”
Both men were charged with burglary in the second degree and arraigned at the First District Court in Hempstead on Dec. 11 on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash bail, according to officials.
Ryder said that the new bail reform laws implemented on Jan. 1 allowed Luna and Donoso to not show up for a court date and travel back to Chile to avoid further prosecution.
“Those two individuals were supposed to report to [get] their ankle bracelets; they did not,” Ryder said. “They were supposed to show up in court a week later; they did not show. Those two individuals as we said before are probably back on a beach in Chile right now, watching this and having a good laugh.”
Ryder said despite the new bail reform laws, the department will continue to use every resource at its disposal to apprehend more members of crews such as this one.
“You come to our community, we’re going to hunt you down,” Ryder said. “You commit these crimes, we’re going to hunt you down. There will be more arrests coming for these ongoing burglaries.”
Ryder also asked residents to be on the lookout for Bryan Leandro Herrera-Maldonado, a suspect who remains at large after fleeing the scene on Jan. 21.