BURBANK, Calif. - New victims of a Chilean “tourist" burglary ring have come forward after a FOX 11 investigation revealed that Chilean nationals are exploiting the ESTA visa waiver system to come to Southern California and commit hundreds of burglaries.
The investigation can be seen here: Chilean “tourists” exploiting U.S. visa waivers to commit mass burglaries in SoCal
After the story aired, FOX 11 was contacted by Marya Ortiz, the owner of Luxmary Handbags in Burbank. She said her luxury handbag store had been burglarized for $450,000 by the same Chilean crime ring in August.
The stunned voice in the video belongs to Marya Ortiz the owner of Luxmary Handbags in Burbank.
"I came to work one day and my whole store was gone. I walked in and got robbed blind," Ortiz said.
The security video showed two men approaching the back of her business where they broke into her electrical box and cut her power. They later used a crowbar to break through the door and pillage the luxury products inside.
The Burbank Police Department responded to the scene and collected evidence.
Detectives told Ortiz she had been hit by a known ring of Chilean criminals. They said that they’ve been hitting small businesses all over Southern California and all around the United States.
FOX 11 showed you Monday night what happened to a Laguna Niguel jewelry store after the Chileans stole $1.5 million of inventory in one night.
As we reported, law enforcement says these Chilean criminals are exploiting ESTA visa waivers, which allow citizens from 38 countries to come to the U.S. for tourism, business or medical reasons for 90 days without the vetting of a regular visa. Now victims of what's being called 'burglary tourism' say something has to change.
The men in Ortiz’s case have not been caught. Burbank police confirm they are aware of these Chilean gangs being responsible for crimes in the area. The Chilean government tells us they are aware of the problem and they’ve sent a police envoy to L.A. to work with law enforcement on these burglary cases.