Chilean gang raids wealthy Detroit suburb mansions as chilling surveillance catches them loot $800,000 worth of jewelry and cash

Gangs of thieves, mostly from Columbia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, have become a significant problem in affluent suburban areas across the country.


An international ring of thieves has returned to an upscale neighborhood in an outer suburb of Detroit to target high-end homes.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard says the thieves are ‘clearly’ back after a ‘number of super, super similar’ instances over the last several days.

‘The home is empty – very large upscale homes – backed up to areas with little, or no observation from neighbors,’ he said.

Months ago, Bouchard formed a task force to combat the area burglars and apprehended seven Chilean citizens, who’d been robbing local affluent homes of millions-of-dollars worth of possessions.

One home was robbed of $800,000 in jewelry and cash.

Gangs of thieves, mostly from Columbia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, have become a significant problem in affluent suburban areas across the country.

Criminal groups arrive in the US via a 2014 visa waiver program, take an upscale neighborhood for millions of dollars and flee back to their home country.

‘The Chilean gangs have been hitting us very hard. Cash, jewelry, very high end purses – that’s pretty much the target,’ he said.

‘They are super well-trained when they get here – highly organized. They look like ninjas they’re all masked up, gloves – they each have a backpack with their particular set of tools for their job in the burglary.’

South and Central American Gangs, like the one terrorizing affluent Oakland County families, often use jammers on wireless alarm systems so families are entirely unaware they’ve been burgled until they return home to the crime scene.

Bouchard says he recommends area families hardwire their alarm systems and ensure they are turned on.

The situation in Michigan is so dire that Bouchard warned locals not even to so much as post on social media when they’re planning to be out of town.

‘A lot of people post a selfie – ‘On my way to Florida for two weeks,’ Well now you’ve just told the whole world I’m leaving town – even if it’s not these high-end folk – there’s a lot of people that troll Facebook and Twitter and social media. And you’ve just told everybody your house is empty,’ he said.

The thieves are specifically targeting expensive-looking homes, he added. The last time the band of criminals assembled in and around Oakland County, they hit houses in Farmington Hills, Novi, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Franklin and Oakland Township.

These criminals, like other South and Central American gangs executing similar crimes across the country, have come to the US via a Visa Waiver Program that needs to be changed promptly, said Bouchard.

‘All of the intelligence estimates – just from Chile – we have 100-plus teams in operation right now in America – teams of four to six,’ he said.

‘What we encourage Washington to do, is stop the Visa Waiver Program right now for Chile. That doesn’t mean they can’t visit but they just have to get a regular Visa which comes with a little more scrutiny.’ 

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