Arrests made: International theft ring targets high-end homes in the Phoenix area

An international theft ring has been targeting high-end homes around the Phoenix area and three people have just been arrested.

There have been 111 incidents reported Valley-wide since February of last year, typically committed Friday through Sunday during dinner time hours. The crimes have been reported in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Chandler, Gilbert and Peoria.

The suspects are identified as Sue Ellen Gutierrez Saez, 20; Johan Salvo Alacon, 21 and Manuel Eduardo Fuentes Gomez, 25. The arrest report says they're in the United States illegally from Chile.

The group has been accused of stealing $3 million in money, jewelry and other items in total.

They're said to be members of a large transnational South American criminal organization operating in the United States with the intent of committing burglaries, fraud, and trafficking stolen property.

Johan Salvo Alacon, Sue Ellen Gutierrez Saez, Manuel Eduardo Fuentes Gomez (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

It's a trend across the country, not just here in the Valley. Intel from a California agency investigating other members of the same group led officers to the Camelback Mountain area to track down the recent arrests.

Detectives say the group members often choose homes that back up to golf courses or open areas where they can park further away and walk up to the homes undetected. They bring technology that uses cellular data and Wi-Fi to jam home surveillance cameras while they're breaking in.

In a residential burglary mentioned in the court paperwork from Feb. 9, the suspects stole $33,000 worth of guns, jewelry and money from one home.

On Feb. 16, Phoenix Police officers conducted a surveillance operation on some homes that were targeted around Camelback Mountain and that's when they made the arrests.

You can learn more about how to keep you and your home safe with the resources at this link.