Chilean arrested in California suburb days after LAPD formed to crack down on transnational criminal gangs

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Police arrested three men from Chile on Friday in the quiet California suburban town of Irvine, just days after the incident. Los Angeles Police Department Task force formed to tackle international crime ring targeting US mansions

The arrests follow a recent spike in home robberies in Irvine, a relatively low-crime area of ​​Orange County about 40 miles south. Los Angeles.

Irvine police were conducting surveillance when a “suspicious vehicle” near Boomer Canyon came to their attention.

Police said the three men arrested were Chilean nationals and had no reason to be in Irving. (Irvine Police Department)

Police said there were three men in the car who “were not from the area and did not appear to have a reason to be in Irvine.”

When police tried to stop him, the driver sped away. Eventually, police were able to stop the car and search the interior. Police found burglary tools, pet deterrents, shoe covers and masks.

Irvine police said in a statement: “Taken together, it appears the three were in the area to commit residential burglaries and were arrested for conspiracy to commit burglary, providing false information to a police officer and possession of burglary tools. .”

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Police identified the three men as 55-year-old Julio Cordova-Martinez, 19-year-old Ricardo Navarete-Loyola and 57-year-old Leopoldo Jara-Araya. All three are Chilean citizens and are being held at the Orange County Jail (OCJ).

Their arrests come as a growing number of transnational criminal gangs are using State Department travel programs to enter the United States, raiding wealthy American neighborhoods and ransacking homes for profit.

Last week, the L.A.P.D. A working group was established to confront these groups. Most participants in these gangs are from Chile, but law enforcement has also identified nationals from other South American countries, including Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

Chileans arrested

Irvine police arrested three people from Chile Friday night. (Irvine Police Department)

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer has been warning about the problem since at least this summer, calling the burglaries “carefully calculated and planned.”

Spitzer has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, saying it failed to respond to public records requests covering the issue.

Burglaries have increased in Irvine, with more than 30 burglaries reported in a matter of days, but only about seven of them are believed to be linked to transnational criminal gangs.

The problem isn’t limited to California either, with similar crimes reported in states including Michigan, New Jersey and New York.

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The crimes occurred thanks to Chile’s participation in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which allows tourists and business travelers to enter the United States for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa or going through a thorough vetting process.

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Fox News Digital’s Mike Ruiz contributed to this report.

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By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

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