Police: 3 members of Chilean burglary crew strike homes in Nassau
Three people were arrested Tuesday in connection to numerous home burglaries in Nassau County.
Police say the suspects arrested were part of a burglary organization from Chile.
Police arrested Boneek Alexander Quintero-Baeza, 32, Alexandra Ivonne Pizarro-Blanche, 23, and Levy Frank Maury Brugman, 23, at a residence in College Point, Queens. Police say all three are from Chile and were taken into custody after authorities received tips about a burglary in Hewlett Harbor.
According to police, Quintero-Baeza broke into the Hewlett Harbor home in September and stole $25,000 in cash, designer bags and jewelry. Quintero-Baeza and Brugman
also committed a burglary in New Jersey and had been released without bond.
Prosecutors said in court that Quintero-Baeza has a long criminal record of burglaries in Spain and Argentina.
Quintero-Baeza's attorney says his client is innocent because he insists he was in California at the time.
Pizarro-Blanche is charged with conspiracy for allegedly renting the cars used in the burglaries.
Authorities say they recovered jewelry, hand bags, electronic devices and clothing believed to have been taken from homes. Police say multiple identifications were recovered and are believed to be aliases for the defendants allowing them to operate within the United States.
Police say a fourth suspect, Bryan Maldonado, is still at large. Police believe Maldonado is the ring leader and say he is also from Chile.
Nassau police believe the Chileans may be part of a larger criminal operation that stretches across the U.S. They say detectives are now working with federal authorities.
"We are looking at cases down in Miami," says Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. "We are looking at cases in California and we are looking at Jersey and Connecticut also."
Nassau police say the defendants may be related to some other foreign burglary suspects who skipped out on court appearances.