Jewelry heist gang who robbed over $235,000 busted

0
18
Jewelry heist gang who robbed over $235,000 busted

A jewelry heist gang who allegedly robbed their way through cities in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina targeting Asian people were finally stopped in Texas this week, police officers confirmed to The Post.

Investigators in the Dallas suburb of Plano had been trailing the gang for a year after a spike in apartment burglaries which all followed the same pattern — a front door forced open and gold or jewelry stolen, the department said, noting the residents of the homes were always of Asian descent.

Plano police arrested illegal immigrant Jose Gonzalez, 58 and accomplices Libardo Soto, 35, and Melba Gaitan, 53, on Monday. They claim they are linked to at least 15 different burglaries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and that Indian people had specifically been targeted.

Gaitan, a permanent US resident originally from Colombia, was arrested in Fort Bend County near Houston, the Plano Police Department said.
Gaitan, a permanent US resident originally from Colombia, was arrested in Fort Bend County near Houston, the Plano Police Department said.
Plano Texas Police Department

Eventually, Plano authorities working with other police forces and federal agencies arrested Soto and Gaitan in the Houston area. Gonzalez is jailed in Miami and awaiting deportation, as he was in the country illegally, police said.

Five additional victims in North Carolina, three in Florida and one in Georgia have also been identified as victims of crimes matching the same method and tied to the same suspects, and cops think there could be more out there.

“We strongly suspect that there are more [suspects] out there,” Plano Police Officer Andre Smith told The Post.” This has just opened our eyes and we’re going to try to cast this net as big as we can.”

Libardo Soto, a Colombian in the US on a work visa, is currently being held at the Fort Bend County Jail.
Libardo Soto, a Colombian in the US on a work visa, is being held at the Fort Bend County Jail.
Fort Bend County Jail

When law enforcement searched their homes, they discovered a combined $35,000 in cash and jewelry valued up to $200,000. Tools for dismantling jewelry and contact information for retailers that buy gold and silver were also found.

The department didn’t want to speculate on why people of Asian descent were singled out, but Dinesh Hooda of the Indian Association of North Texas did.

ose Gonzalez, a Colombian who had overstayed a visa, will be referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal from the country, the Plano Police Department said.
Jose Gonzalez, a Colombian who had overstayed a visa, will be referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for removal from the country, the Plano Police Department said.
Miami Dade Correctional

“They were specifically targeting the Indian community because they see we wear lots of jewelry, are wealthy people and keep a lot of cash,” Hooda told WFAA.

Source link