MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — He was the one that got away, but no longer.
Nassau Police have nabbed 24-year-old Bryan Leandro Herrera Maldonado, an alleged burglar in an elaborate international ring from Chile that targets high-end homes from Long Island to Miami and California.
Earlier this year, there were break-ins from Hewlett Harbor to Great Neck Estates and other affluent Nassau communities. Burglars would strike in darkness when homes appeared empty. Police say suspects were in this country on tourist visas.
“That crew would flip teams. They would come here, be arrested, get out and then go back to Chile. We went after them and we went after them hard,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
After several arrests in January, they tracked Maldonado to burglaries in the southern U.S., then to a hotel in New Jersey where he put up a violent fight.
Hewlett Harbor’s mayor applauds police, but said the village has also fought back with a doubling of security patrols and license plate readers.
“We know they are relentless. We know that they cycle into the country on a regular basis and they’re not giving up, so we have to redouble our efforts,” said Mayor Mark Weiss.
“They’ll look for the mail. They’ll look for lights that are on or not on, go around to the back of house, kick the door in,” Ryder added.
In many cases, homeowners are out jewelry, cash, handbags — millions of dollars in some of these homes.
The suspect faces federal charges.
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