Chilean ‘Tourist Burglars’ Surge in LA: Visa Loopholes & Tech-Savvy Crime Wave Stirs Alarm

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A tsunami of burglaries committed by organized foreign gangs, who’ve exploited a visa waiver program to gain entry into the United States, has swamped Los Angeles. This surge in crime has prompted the LAPD to create a special task force aimed directly at addressing this worrisome trend. The majority of these so-called “tourist burglars” hail from South America, notably Chile, and gravitate towards targeting high-end residences, employing advanced technology to circumvent home security systems.

“LAPD Chief Dominic Choi stated on March 12: “I can tell you that we have a significant increase in burglaries from organized groups that are outside this country, and they are targeting high-end residents. We are addressing that specifically in a task-force fashion through multi-agencies,” He, along with others in his department, are currently grappling with over 900 residential burglaries committed city-wide since the onset of the year.

More worrying is these perpetrators’ complex modus operandi. On March 4, the LAPD’s Wilshire division acknowledged: “Wilshire area has been subjected to various residential burglaries, involving 3-4 suspects using Wi-Fi jammers as they enter victims’ residences.” Police Commissioner William Briggs explained these devices are used to “deaden, kill or stop WiFi from operating,” thereby disabling home alarm systems. LAPD Chief Choi suggested that an immediate solution would be to hardwire home-alarm systems, sidestepping the pitfalls of relying on WiFi connections.

Beverly Hills and other affluent locales are not unfamiliar with the sight of jammers and drones, and even military-style stakeouts. One common denominator among these organized gangs is that their members predominantly originate from Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, and Chile.

The crises faced by the LAPD are mirrored by the Scottsdale Police in Arizona, where the increase in residential burglaries has been likewise traced back to Chilean crime groups exploiting the visa waiver program.

The long-standing issue led Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer to establish a vertical prosecution unit—H.E.I.S.T (Home Invasion. Eradication. Interdiction. Strike. Team.) aimed directly at prosecuting these burglary cases.

A major hurdle prosecutors are facing in their ongoing struggle against these foreign criminals is the lack of criminal history information provided by the Chilean government. The ESTA Visa Program, or Electronic System for Travel Authorization, mandates the provision of criminal histories before residents can enter the U.S. for a 90-day period, repeated ad infinitum.

Frustratingly, the absence of this crucial criminal data means prosecutors are often unable to present evidence of these defendants’ potential danger to public safety beyond a single burglary charge.

From the LAPD forming a special task force to combat the increasing menace of these foreign gangs to local police departments across the state facing a similar crisis, it is clear that the risks posed by the misuse of the visa waiver program are tangible and escalating.

Battles are being waged against a hidden enemy, with Wi-Fi jammers replacing traditional tools of the criminal trade and residential homes acting as the new battlegrounds; law enforcement agencies outflanked by an enemy armed with advanced technology and under the radar due to international bureaucracy loopholes.

The alarm is sounding on this infiltration by foreign criminals exploiting the visa waiver program. It beckons an urgent reassessment and tightened enforcement of our immigration policies, ensuring they serve the best interests of public safety above all else. The liberty to live securely and unthreatened is a fundamental right — we cannot allow it to be eroded by coordinated foreign incursions. The gust of urgency is making waves – it’s now time for authorities to rise to the challenge and safeguard our shores from this wave of organized crimes threatening our tranquility.

Next News Network Team

Next News Network Team

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