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A Newsletter of the Tatum Highlands Community Association

South American Crime Ring

Burglaries tied to a South American Theft Group (that has been in operation for several years), first targeted the Scottsdale area in 2022.


Authorities report there is a new crew now targeting Scottsdale, Gilbert, Phoenix and Paradise Valley.


There have been 140 cases across the entire valley since this trend began in November 2023. THIRTY-NINE of those cases were located in Scottsdale.


The last Scottsdale burglary associated with this trend was on March 10 when 3 Chilean nationals were arrested near Pima Rd & Jomax Rd.


This group is thought to have deep connections nation-wide and so the police are advising residents to "still be aware and vigilant and report suspicious behavior occurring in their neighborhoods".


Notable trends:


  • Homes either backed up to a golf course or a wash are mostly targeted and these burglars are simply hopping into backyards to get inside of homes.

  • The criminals normally steal small but high-value items like purses, jewelry and cash.


Precautions to avoid being targeted:


Apple AirTag
  • keep your lights on and even your TVs when you are not home

  • have a security system

  • adopt a dog from the shelter

  • hire a house-sitter or property manager if you will be gone for an extended amount of time

  • invest in Apple Air Tags to place inside valuables which can be tracked on your phone. These Airtags run off CR2032 batteries that last a year.

  • lock your circuit breakers with a padlock to prevent your alarm system from being disabled

  • have a metal bar on your sliding doors and install motion sensor lighting

  • do not share travel plans on social media or with ride-share drivers


Many recent burglaries use technology that scramble the house's Wi-Fi system, which prevents the surveillance system from notifying the homeowners.


Switching from a wireless to a wired surveillance system can eliminate the need for devices to communicate over Wi-Fi.


Please report any suspicious activity to the non-emergency line:

Phoenix police non-emergency line — 602-262-6151

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