GREENFIELD, Ind. — Court docs show five South American men broke into a home on Collins Way in Greenfield, ransacked it and drove off with cash and jewelry.
Anh Luong said it was her house that was robbed. She said she got home on March 28 to find her house broken into.
“Everything messed up, cabinet open,” Luong said. “And I ran to my room and everything looked like a disaster.”
According to court documents, $4,000 and several pieces of expensive jewelry were stolen from the home.
Hours later, though, the five men were caught going north of I-65 through Jasper County.
Greenfield Police Captain Corey Decker said the van the suspects were riding in was caught on Flock cameras.
“Without that technology, we would probably still have no idea where they were,” Decker said.
The men facing charges for the burglary are:
- Miguel Alfonso Lozano-Pineda, 37;
- Bairon Estiven Vasquez-Ortiz, 29;
- John Alexander Ruiz Acero, 40;
- Camilo Andres Marique-Barrera, 25; and
- William Alberto Guzman-Castano, 30.
Court docs show jewelry belonging to Luong was found in the van.
Decker said this burglary matches the style of “South American Theft Groups”, or SATG.
FOX59/CBS4 has previously reported on suspected SATG activity in Hamilton County. The groups are known to come to the U.S. from South American countries. They try and steal cash, expensive items and jewelry from homes.
“That stuff can easily disappear just because it’s hard to track,” Decker said.
According to court docs, these groups will watch their targets for days and determine when they are home and when they are away. The groups also tend to target business owners and people of Asian descent.
Decker said this is the first time something like this has happened in Greenfield but they have had help from other agencies.
“We believe there is a connection there,” Decker said. Same organization, just different people.”
FOX59/CBS4 has reported on cases like this one targeting gated and affluent neighborhoods in Fishers and Carmel.
The neighborhood where the Greenfield robbery happened was not like those.
“The community there was not gated,” Decker said.
At last check, Carmel Police have investigated 17 similar burglaries since the beginning of 2022. Fishers Police is also investigating similar cases.
Court docs show Fishers investigators have requested DNA from the Greenfield suspects to see if they’re connected to a robbery there.
“It’s just all about reaching out, sharing information, to see if it even aligns with what we might be investigating,” Decker said.
According to court docs, all five suspects are not U.S. citizens and seem to be from South America.
Authorities are still working to determine what country or countries these men are from.
Court docs show State Police in Michigan also said they have five different investigations involving similar burglaries with the same van these suspects were caught in.
“That’s horrible,” said Luong.
She is happy they were caught when they were.
“They got bad luck when they came to my house,” Luong.
All five men are in the Hancock County Jail.
Decker said people can avoid falling victim to these groups by paying attention on the road to see if they could be being followed and locking up valuables inside their homes.