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Residences targeted by Chilean burglary ring

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The Nassau County Police Department announced the indictment of five men from Chile for allegedly committing several burglaries across the county, including residences in Glen Cove, between February and March.

At a March 6 news conference, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder identified William Jesus Medel-Perez, 23, Amaro Valentino Rosas, 23, Juan Antonio Hernandez Rosas, 25, Bayron Felipe Cruz Palta, 26, and Fabian Lopez Catalan, 20, as the alleged burglars. Each are charged with burglary second-degree. Medel-Perez and Valentino Rosas were also charged with one count of attempted burglary second-degree.

Ryder said the defendants were arrested on March 5 in the Bronx. “Since January 1, residential burglaries in the county are up 75 percent from last year,” Ryder said. “That is due to this crew that has been hitting us. They obtained 90-day visas and all over-stayed the 90 days.”

According to a press release from Detective Lt. John Nagle of the Glen Cove Police Department the suspects were arraigned the following day.

A house on Landing Road and another house on Southfield Road in Glen Cove were targeted between March 3 and March 4, he said. Both houses, which were not occupied at the time of the robberies, were within walking distance. The Landing Road house is considered to be the subject of a burglary, however the incident at the Southfield Road house is still under investigation.

“There’s more investigating that needs to be done to close it up as an actual burglary,” Nagle said. “For all intensive purposes we’re treating it as a burglary.”

In 2019 there were three robberies. This year, there have already been three robberies in Glen Cove.

Though the five suspects were arrested, Nagle said that residents should still remain vigilant. He advised not to post vacation pictures on social media or allow for mail or newspapers to pile up while away. 

“Look, there’s the internet now and you want your friends and neighbors to know how much fun you’re having while on vacation,” Nagle said. “[That’s] not recommended because other people can be looking at your posts and everything else on social media that you’re enjoying yourself in Aruba or Florida and that’s a great time to go pay your house a visit even though you’re not home.”

Nagle also said that residents should alert the Glen Cove Police Department if they notice that a car is circling around the neighborhood or a person is acting suspicious. “Be cognizant of who is in your neighborhood,” he said.

County Executive Laura Curran noted at the news conference that if residents are not going to be home, there are precautionary measures to take. “If you’re going away for an extended period of time, leave a light on in your home,” she said. “Tell a trusted neighbor you’re going away so they know to keep an eye on your home.”

The defendants were held without bail. They arrived at court on March 7, where Acting Supreme Court Justice Meryl J. Berkowitz held all five suspects on $100,000 bond or $20,000 in cash. The case was adjourned to March 19.