LAPD forming task force to target organized teams of foreign burglars – NBC Los Angeles

The LAPD said Tuesday it was forming a task force with other police agencies to target organized groups of burglars who visit the U.S. from foreign countries, and have been responsible for an increasing number of home break-ins.

“I can tell you that we have a significant increase in burglaries from organized groups that are outside this country, that are coming into the country, and they are targeting high end residents,” Chief Dominic Choi said Tuesday.

“And, we are addressing that specifically in a task force fashion, through multi-agencies,” he said.

Choi told the Board of Police Commissioners that while the number of property crimes reported to police have declined slightly in early 2024, the number of home burglaries have remained nearly unchanged from this time last year.

The I-Team found 903 LAPD crime reports in the first 10 weeks of 2024 that recorded residential burglaries, compared with 944 during the first 10 weeks of 2023.

These types of burglary rings, often described as South American Theft Groups, are not new to Southern California.

Authorities in Orange County announced last year a series of arrests and prosecutions related to so-called burglary tourism, and the District Attorney in Ventura County has a dedicated prosecutor working on the problem.

Also on Tuesday, police in Scottsdale, Arizona announced the arrests of three people suspected of trying to burglarize homes, who the police chief said appeared to be part of a similar group.

“These are Chilean burglary crews that are coming to the United States on the visa waiver program,” Chief Jeff Walther told reporters.

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