Two men and a woman associated with a Chilean ring who are allegedly are responsible for multiple burglaries on Long Island and throughout the tristate area have been arrested, police said.
For weeks, Nassau County Burglary Squad detectives have been investigating a string of residential burglaries, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder announced on Thursday, Jan. 23. The burglaries are allegedly tied to an organized burglary ring based out of Chile.
Ryder said that two days ago, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, detectives were on Sixth Avenue in College Point following intel involving a burglary in Hewlett.
While surveilling the area, a vehicle with four people inside pulled up and did “some counter-surveillance moves,” driving around the block several times before stopping in front of a residence.
When officers approached the three, Ryder said that they located the three suspects, Levy Frank Maury Bruggman, 23, Boneek Alexander Quintero-Baeza, 32, and Alexandra Ivonne Pizarro-Blanche.
Bruggman and Pizarro-Blanche surrendered without incident, but Quintero-Baeza “committed a violent struggle,” and it took several detectives to take him down and placed into custody.
According to Ryder, Bruggman and Quintero-Baeza had just returned from committing a burglary in New Jersey.
Further investigation into the three led to the recovery of jewelry, handbags, electronic devices and clothing believed to be proceeds from the burglaries.
Multiple identifications were recovered and are believed to be aliases for the defendants allowing them to operate within the United States.
A fourth suspect was able to get away on foot, though Ryder vowed to track him down.
“We’re going to hunt him down and bring him into justice,” he said. “He’s on the run, and we’re in cooperation with the NYPD and police in Connecticut and New Jersey to track him down.”
Ryder said that the group is tied to an organized group out of Chile that targets wealthier areas throughout the country, flying in on 90-day visas and taking the proceeds back to Chile. Of the four latest suspects, three had overstayed their 90-day limit.
It is believed that the Chilean burglary ring has struck between 10 and 12 Nassau County residences and dozens in the tri-state area.
Bruggman and Quintero-Baeza were charged with burglary and fugitive from justice. Pizarro-Blanche was charged with conspiracy for supplying the rental car used in the burglaries. Bruggman and Quintero-Baeza are being held pending their extradition back to New Jersey. Pizarro-Blanche was to be released following her arraignment.
The latest arrests come two weeks after two other Chileans were arrested and later released due to the new bail reform laws.
Ryder noted that the two were supposed to report for an ankle monitoring bracelet and didn’t show. They then failed to show up for court, and they haven’t been seen since.
“Those two individuals are probably on the beach in Chile and having a good laugh watching this,” he said. “We will continue to follow up on all leads and run the intel. We’re not going to let changes in the law stop us from going out and hunting these individuals down.”
The Commissioner had a message for other members of the burglary ring if they try to target Nassau County.
“The warning is this, and you can bring it all the way back to Chile if you’re watching. If you commit these crimes, we’re going to hunt you down. We don’t care what laws are in place that are making our jobs harder. Just remember, we will spend the resources to lock you up.”
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