Police: 3 arrested in Manhasset jewelry store burglary are part of South American theft group

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says two of the suspects were released, told to get monitoring bracelets on their ankles, but never showed up.

Krista McNally

Jun 1, 2023, 9:51 AM

Updated 328 days ago


A theft ring that burglarized a jewelry store last month has now been busted, according to police.
Police say three men who are undocumented immigrants and believed to be part of a South American theft group have been arrested.
Police identified the men as Patricio E Villaseca Leiva, Mauro A Suoza Montecinos and Luciano Aguilera Navarro.
News 12 was told the men were arrested Wednesday in Queens for stealing $150,000 worth of jewelry from Manhasset Jewelers on Plandome Road in Manhasset.
Detectives say two of the suspects were supposed to report to authorities for prior crimes.
"If it's a commercial burglary, you cannot hold that individual on bail, so these three individuals that we've arrested were supposed to report for ankle bracelets, and they just didn't show up," said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman.
Investigators say South American theft groups do operate out of the New York City area.
"They are starting to adapt to our practices, so we have to adapt for every different crew that comes up here," says Detective Sgt. Jeffrey Raymond, of the Nassau County Police Department.
He says members of the theft groups arriving in the United States will assume a different identity, begin a criminal enterprise and move to another state and use a different name once they are arrested in one area.
All three men were arraigned in Nassau County. Lieva was held on $1 bail because he is being charged as a fugitive from justice for a Maryland crime. Officials from that state will come pick him up, police say.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says Montecino and Navarro were released, told to get ankle bracelets and never showed up.
"The problem is they have walked out of our custody and are back on the streets of Nassau County," Ryder says.

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