California Crime Follies: Int’l Thieves Flying Into SoCal to Take Advantage Revolving Door Justice System

Los Angeles security video burglary
Courtesy NBC 4 Los Angles

A recent article at the Los Angeles Times tells the wild story of “burglary tourists”, people who have been flying in from other countries, mostly in South America, to rob California homes. According to the Daily Mail, it’s been going on for a couple of years now and they’re coming from countries like Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Peru. Because the United States has agreements for tourist visas and even visa-free entry (something that’s good for legitimate tourism and conducting global business), some thieves take full advantage of the lack of background checks.

Once in the United States, they plan a quick string of sophisticated burglaries, quickly fence the goods, then send the money home before getting back on a plane.

LAPD’s police chief says that they usually target homes with easy rear access near things like hiking trails or canyons behind the home. What he doesn’t say is that this isn’t happening in other metro areas like Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, or Salt Lake. The have wealthy neighborhoods, too. And don’t expect the media to ask why they’ve confined their illegal trade to southern California.

The sheriff does point out, though, that these gangs don’t usually carry weapons because they don’t want to rack up a weapon charge if caught. So it seems obvious to any reasonable observer that they’re targeting areas where they’re far less likely to encounter armed resistance.

These gangs aren’t just hitting a couple of houses and then returning to South America with their loot. They’ve been tied to hundreds of break-ins across the SoCal region including LA proper, Orange and Ventura counties, Santa Barbara, and even some as far south as San Diego.

When caught, the thieves show that they’re not just simple burglars. They have great knowledge of the international legal system, know how to get authorities to release minors, and even have stashes of fake passports they can use to exit the United States.

Because the federal government doesn’t make countries like Chile hand over criminal histories, it’s difficult to establish that people who are caught are career criminals and slap them with charges that would stick better. This enables them to leave and return in the future, perhaps under a new false identity, to burglarize California homes once again.

When they attempted to expand their operations to Arizona, they didn’t find the media and law enforcement as willing to keep quiet about their presence. This is why the story of these international thieves broke to begin with, despite the burglaries having gone on for years.

Scottsdale, Arizona police were a lot more competent at catching them and putting them away, using everything from helicopters and drones with thermal cameras to sweep them up instead of just running them through a revolving door catch-and-release justice system, over and over again.

Perhaps more importantly, when a homeowner interrupted a theft at his home and the thieves ran, the police in Arizona were able to respond quickly…something that happens far less often in California. Everyone from the would-be victim to the police did their jobs.

When a government is weak, from the top (bad visa policies) down to the local level (undermanned police departments and prosecutors who don’t prosecute), it doesn’t go un-noticed. Thieves are dumb, but they’re not stupid. They know an easy mark when they see one.

But, when people feel they can safely repel burglars and home invaders from their homes and that police will work to actually catch them — and they’ll be prosecuted — even a weak federal government isn’t enough to make everyone unsafe.

4 Responses

  1. I’ve noticed an abundance of California tourism commercials on TV lately. Obviously their new PR push is working.

    1. “I’ve noticed an abundance of California tourism commercials on TV lately.”

      Tourism is plummeting because they see on the news what’s really happening out there, and have no interest of experiencing it first-hand.

      Major cities filled with thousands of tents housing desperate people doing desperate things like injecting drugs in open view..

      Downtown city sidewalks literally covered in used hypodermic needles, human sh1T, and other nasty things that don’t happen where they live. I damn sure wouldn’t be motivated to spend my hard-earned money to visit a place like that.

      That may be why tourism is plummeting…

      1. California, getting exactly what they asked for, good and hard… 😉

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