Eight south Florida residents have been arrested and charged
with operating a theft ring that broke into jewelry stores by cutting holes in
their roofs, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Attorney
General announced June 15.
The suspects were charged with racketeering and
conspiracy to commit racketeering. Three of the suspects were charged with
burglary of a structure with damage in excess of $1,000. Two were
charged with grand theft over $100,000.
The gang is suspected of operating an organized burglary
ring with multiple crews who would cut holes in the roofs of jewelry stores and
pawn shops, disable alarms and surveillance systems, and then use torches to
access the safe.
Authorities estimate the value of the jewelry stolen at more
than $6 million. The theft ring, based in Miami-Dade County, Fla., targeted
stores in Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Connecticut.
Multiple law enforcement agencies worked for nearly
two years to arrest the eight individuals.
“This group moved fast and hit targets in multiple
jurisdictions, but they underestimated the level of sophistication and collaboration
among our law enforcement agencies,” Gerald Bailey of Florida Department of Law
Enforcement said in a statement.
A ninth suspect has not been apprehended but authorities have
active warrants for his arrest.
The case is ongoing and will be prosecuted by the Attorney
General of Florida.
In May, 19
Michigan residents were arrested in connection to a nationwide grab-and-run
jewelry theft ring.