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"Transnational gangs" from South America are committing high-end burglaries on upscale homes in Michigan, according to law enforcement.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard is sounding the alarm over a rash of burglaries targeting luxurious homes. Bouchard is warning local residents to secure their houses because illegal immigrants are committing home invasions to steal high-end goods.
The sheriff said the burglars are stealing jewelry, precious metals, high-end watches, expensive purses, electronics, money, and safes. Bouchard said the robberies have totaled more than $1 million.
"They typically hit homes from 5 to 9 p.m., they seem to want houses where nobody's home, and they usually come in through windows in the back," he explained.
"They do a lot of surveillance, we believe, before they commit a crime," Bouchard continued. "Usually, it's two or three people working together, with one of them stationed outside as a driver."
"They're focused on the target, not on the community," Bouchard added. "They don't recognize jurisdictions or borders of a country, a state or a county."
Sheriff Bouchard noted that the suspects are illegal immigrants from South America.
"These are transnational gangs that are involved in this that come from South America, looking to do burglaries and violate our communities, not just in Oakland County but across America," Bouchard said on Friday. "It's criminality at its organized crime best in terms of that's how it functions. They work together, and they're here for a specific purpose."
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Custom Enforcement says transnational gangs "strike fear into our local neighborhoods, commit violent crimes against our citizens and facilitate criminal activity such as narcotics and firearms trafficking, sex trafficking, human smuggling and trafficking, and corruption."
Bouchard believes the suspects are illegal immigrants from Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras, and Venezuela.
The sheriff said the criminals illegally enter the U.S. by crossing the southern border or by manipulating the Visa Waiver Program. He added that the suspects purchase fake identification.
The sheriff blamed the Biden administration for not securing the U.S. southern border.
"American’s are getting crushed," Bouchard declared. "With fentanyl, human trafficking, terrorist activity that is a ticking time bomb in my opinion. And obviously, transnational gangs that are now attacking communities in Oakland County."
Bouchard demanded, "Secure the border, fix the immigration system, do your damn job."
"Border security for everybody is critically important," Bouchard stated.
The Oakland County Sheriff's Office is working with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to catch the perpetrators.
Bourchard advised homeowners, "If you see something, say something."
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Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.