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South American theft ring targets luxury homes in multiple states — now in Tennessee?

Brentwood Police
Posted at 4:51 PM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 00:16:41-04

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) — Police are investigating whether a South American theft ring has been in town after four luxury homes were burglarized.

The theft ring has been known to target rich communities across the country.

Brentwood residents have seen alerts on their phones about home and vehicle burglaries.

"I wouldn’t say put your guard up; I’d say it’s just being smart: lock up your possessions, your cars, lock your doors and your house," Jenny Jackson said.

Williamson County residents Jenny Jackson and Henry Coles Jr. said it's important to be aware.

"We have to be much more vigilant every day as a result of the increase in known crime that is occurring everywhere," Coles said.

Three multi-million-dollar homes were burglarized in two Brentwood neighborhoods from September 8 to 10. CEOs and celebrities live in the impacted communities. Police said the burglars forced entry through rear doors.

"Particularly here in Williamson County, we’re starting to see more and more incidents," Coles said.

Then, on September 14, a Forest Hills home near Belle Meade was hit. Police said the burglars stole $200,000 in cash and jewelry from a safe.

Using surveillance, police found the getaway SUV at a hotel on Atrium Way. Four men from Chile were taken into custody. They recovered items that belonged to the Forest Hills victim.

According to Metro Police, they're being investigated in at least two other states. They told police their names are Danhrl Pelegrani, Juan Gutierrez, Lucas Oros Valderrnto, and Cesar Hedando Cortez Vlla.

No official charges have been brought against them in connection to the Brentwood burglaries, but they could come later in the investigation.

For now, residents are going to be on high alert.

"If we are not aware of the changes that are going on, we certainly are going to become vulnerable to the reality that crime is everywhere, and that we have to be mindful of it, and protect each other," Coles said.

Police said the four men from Chile refused to be interviewed. They're being charged with aggravated burglary, and their bond was set at $100,000 each.