Detectives from the Nassau County Police Department’s (NCPD) Major Crimes Unit reported the arrest of five burglary suspects believed to be responsible for a string of break ins at high-end North Shore homes over the past month, including one in Great Neck, on Thursday, March 5.
The men, William Jesus Medel-Perez, Amaro Valentino Rosas Rosas, Juan Antonio Hernadez, Bayron Felipe Cruz Palta and Fabian Lopez Catalan, all come from Chile and are believed to be part of a Chilean burglary ring that has hit multiple North Shore homes in the past few months.
“Residential burglaries since Jan. 1 are up 75 percent,” NCPD Commissioner Patrick Ryder said at a press conference on Friday, March 6. “That is due to this crew that has been here and hitting us since back in November.”
Police say the members of the burglary ring enter the country on 90-day temporary work visas, and that this particular crew entered the country at the southwest border and committed crimes in Beverley Hills, CA before heading out to New York. The burglaries the men have been charged with took jewelry, cash and a safe from three homes in Sands Point, Great Neck and Locust Valley, as well as an attempted burglary in Glen Cove.
This was not the first time the operation these men are allegedly linked to has targeted a home on the Great Neck Peninsula. Back in November, two members of the ring burglarized the home of Saddle Rock mayor Dan Levy, making off with valuables and personal items that had once belonged to his father. A month later, those two men were arrested attempting to burglarize another Saddle Rock home, but were released from custody once New York State’s bail reforms came into effect at the start of this year, after which they returned to Chile.
County officials say the men arrested last week were initially recruited on the promise that they would not be confined if they were charged due to the state’s bail reforms.
All five men were arraigned at Nassau County First District Court in Hempstead on Friday, March 6. Each suspect was charged with burglary in the second degree, a class C felony that carries a minimum of three and a half years in prison and a maximum of 15 years in prison should they be convicted. Valentino and Jesus were also hit with an additional charge of attempted burglary in the second degree.
All five are being held without bail.