South American theft rings caught targeting wealthy residences

ABINGTON, PA – Four Chilean men suspected of being part of South American theft rings have been arrested in connection with burglaries at upscale Pennsylvania homes. Law enforcement officials announced their capture on Saturday after the quartet was spotted in Abington’s Meadowbrook area, a neighborhood that has seen a dozen incidents since 2021.

The Abington Township Police Department reported that around 6 p.m. on Friday, four men were seen driving in the Meadowbrook area of Abington. Since 2021, twelve upscale homes have been targeted in this area. According to the Abington Township Police Department, these burglaries are part of a wider pattern of similar criminal activities occurring throughout the country, orchestrated by South American theft groups primarily hailing from Chile and Colombia.

These groups specifically infiltrate the United States with the intention of burglarizing luxury homes, police reported. During an interview with local ABC6, Abington Police Lt. Steve Fink expressed concern about the emerging pattern illustrated by these crimes. Fink said that it is “a disturbing trend,”

The four men, identified as Alvaro Javier Ganin Ganin, 36, Jorge Fabrizeo Sepulveda Alvarez, 34, Vaster Miller Guajardo Pedrero, 31, and Nicolas Andres Matus Lucero, 29, were apprehended after a detective conducting surveillance suspected their vehicle was scouting the neighborhood.

Initially claiming to have driven from California to Pennsylvania to visit a friend and search for a restaurant, the detective discovered inconsistencies in their identification. Some of the men carried fake IDs, while others had none at all.

Upon searching the vehicle, authorities found a variety of burglary tools, including masks, gloves, flashlights, pry bars, a reciprocating saw, and a glass break tool. Furthermore, they uncovered photos and GPS coordinates detailing specific homes in the Meadowbrook neighborhood.

The suspects were subsequently arrested and are facing charges of attempted burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, possession of crime instruments, and loitering and prowling at nighttime. They are currently being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility awaiting arraignment.