OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (FOX 2) - We are learning more about the suspects wanted in several high-end burglaries across Oakland County.
In some cases – hundreds of thousands of dollars in valuables are gone, and it’s believed an international crime ring is behind it all, so-called crime tourists.
"If you see something, say something," said Sheriff Michael Bouchard, calling on residents to look for anything out of the ordinary.
He says that transnational gangs are coming primarily from South America targeting wealthy communities in the US. Bouchard said they are casing and targeting high-end residences, grabbing cash, jewelry, watches, precious metals, high-end purses, and electronics.
"We estimate there are crews and operations all across the country in a pretty substantial number," he said.
He says – for now, they strike when no one’s home, and are able to outsmart some security setups.
Bouchard says the perps are getting into the country one of two ways - illegally crossing the Southern Border or using the Visa Waiver Program, outstaying their welcome and committing these crimes.
"Often times they purchase fake identification and they begin their criminality," he said.
Bouchard says there have been eight to 11 cases over a year’s time in the county that fit the pattern of what these gangs are allegedly doing, But he couldn’t talk about possible arrests.
The sheriff pointed the finger at Washington DC for not working through the politics to secure the border and protect Americans.
"American’s getting crushed," he said. "With fentanyl, human trafficking, terrorist activity that is a ticking time bomb in my opinion. And obviously, transnational gangs that are now attacking communities in Oakland County.
"Secure the border, fix the immigration system, do your damn job."
The message Friday: Be vigilant, evaluate, upgrade, and test your security systems- and report suspicious activity.