U.S. Visa Waiver Program being misused by Home Invaders targeting homes in these areas

South American bandits are arriving as “tourists,” then plundering the homes of the affluent.

The pattern of strategic, rapid-strike home burglaries by highly organized Chilean groups has become part of the local crime landscape in affluent neighborhoods in California, Michigan and Arizona.

The international thugs recently robbed a neighborhood in Michigan and stole $800,000 in jewelry and cash from a single home. “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,” said Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard.

The groups’ tactics are well-established. Frequently called “dinnertime bandits” because they usually strike in the early evening, or “tourist burglars”, because they take advantage of a 10-year-old federal Tourist Visa Waiver Program.

— They enter the U.S. from Chile due to Chile’s non-compliance with visa agreements allowing country-of-origin criminal background checks by U.S. Border Patrol.

— The thieves live together in clusters throughout Los Angeles County and San Diego.

— They are systematic, driving to affluent neighborhoods during the day to survey specific homes and study homeowner behavior until they are familiar with who lives there and when homes will be empty.

— They return to gated communities after dark, entering through golf courses and open spaces via public roads.

— They break into homes by climbing onto balconies or reaching second-floor windows where alarms and locks are less frequently installed.

— They proceed immediately to the master bedroom closet where most people store precious items.

— They ignore electronics and instead grab high-dollar items like jewelry, watches, gold and cash.

— They leave within a few minutes of breaking in. Conejo Guardian