Burglars Target Asian Homes in Maryland, Steal Over $243,000 in Coins and Jewelry

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A group of four men accused of targeting Asian homeowners in a series of burglaries in the D.M.V. (District, Maryland, Virginia) area is now in police custody.

The suspects, most of whom came from New York City, allegedly used research and a variety of tools — including walkie talkies — to target their victims from the most exclusive zip codes earlier this month.

Jonathan Ceballos. Image via Montgomery County Police Department

On Feb. 4, the suspects managed to steal a total of $243,000 in coins, gemstones and jewelry — including a Cartier platinum watch — from an 8,000-square-feet home in Potomac, Maryland. The property, which sits on a cul-de-sac in River View Court, last sold in 2014 for $2.58 million.

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Two days later, the suspects targeted another home five miles from the River View Court address, which is now estimated at $1.15 million. The group took multiple items, including gold dragon and pig figurines worth $7,000 each, according to WJLA.

Juan Manuel Rodriguez-Lopez. Image via Montgomery County Police Department

On Feb. 7, Fairfax County Police (Virginia) ran undercover surveillance along the Route 7 corridor in response to “a series of burglaries” on that side of the Potomac River. They succeeded in tracking a 2019 Chevrolet Suburban, which went past a $930,000 home that had just been burglarized.

The Suburban headed to Montgomery County (Maryland) and finally parked at a GameStop along Colesville Road. Police seized the chance to arrest four men in the vehicle.

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Jesus Montemiranda-Salazar. Image via Montgomery County Police Department

The suspects were identified as Jesus Andres Montemiranda Salazar, 31 (Brooklyn N.Y.), Jonathan Ceballos, 32 (Queens N.Y.), Juan Manuel Rodriguez-Lopez, 28 (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and Sergio Felipe Rodriguez-Lopez, 31 (Trenton N.J.). They were charged with multiple counts of burglary, theft and destruction of property, according to WJLA.

While searching the vehicle, investigators found walkie talkies, masks, gloves and tools such as crowbars, screwdrivers, small sledgehammer, window punch and flashlights. They also recovered “an extensive amount” of jewelry, as well as notebooks and mail owned by burglary victims.

Sergio Rodriguez-Lopez. Image via Montgomery County Police Department

The crimes follow a long list of burglaries targeting Asian American homeowners in the U.S. At the end of 2019, five burglars ransacked properties in Texas and California.

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The D.M.V. area suspects have been denied bond on Feb. 10. Each face up to 65 years in prison.

Feature Images via Montgomery County Police Department

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