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Burglary ring targeting Asian business owners linked to Doral and Port St. Lucie crimes



Another group of seven theft suspects have been arrested in connection with burglaries targeting the homes of Asian business owners, a crime authorities say is on the rise and has led to similar arrests in South Florida.

Police revealed Wednesday that the seven suspects were arrested back in December, WPTV reported.

The police investigation began back in November following a Port St. Lucie home burglary where a safe, $10,000, and several pieces of jewelry were stolen.

Police released surveillance footage of some of the suspects targeting the home on Nov. 27.

Port St. Lucie Police

Surveillance video showed burglary and theft suspects who are accused of targeting the homes of Asian business owners in Port St. Lucie and elsewhere in South Florida.

A witness helped investigators identify some of the vehicles involved and on Dec. 5, the Broward Sheriff’s Office Burglary Apprehension Team began surveillance on several cars, including one linked to the Port St. Lucie burglary.

The detectives watched the suspects burglarize a home in Doral, with three suspects forcing their way inside while a driver waited and three other suspects acted as lookouts in the neighborhood, authorities said.

All seven suspects were taken into custody after the burglary.

One of the suspects, 20-year-old Angel Alejandro Rojas-Morales, is from Colombia and had illegally crossed into the U.S. from Mexico in 2023, Port St. Lucie Police said.

Rojas-Morales is facing charges including burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief, and remained behind bars in St. Lucie County Thursday on an immigration hold, jail records showed.

“The city of Port St. Lucie is not immune to the nationwide issue of illegal immigration that results with innocent citizens becoming victims of crime,” Police Chief Richard Del Toro said. “The Port St. Lucie Police Department will vigorously investigate these types of crimes and will relentlessly pursue any and all suspects involved and bring them to justice.”

Rojas-Morales is part of a Colombian South American Theft Group, or SATG, that targets Asian business owners’ residences while they are not home, police said.

The group uses counter surveillance, hidden GPS trackers, hidden video surveillance cameras, and radio jammers to interrupt and/or obstruct police communications during the burglaries.

In March, Coral Springs Police announced the arrests of seven other burglary suspects also accused of targeting the Asian community.

“This is a trend that we’ve seen in South Florida that’s been occurring more and more with Asian business owners, restaurant and nail salon owners specifically, where when they’re at work, they’re trying to go about their day to make a living, these individuals will break into their house or commit crimes against them,” Coral Springs Police Chief Bradley McKeone told reporters at a news conference after the arrests.

Authorities have arrested seven suspects connected to a burglary ring that targeted South Florida’s Asian community.

The suspects arrested in Coral Springs included six men and one woman who are from Colombia and Mexico, McKeone said.

Officials said the crew was responsible for around 10 burglaries in Broward and Palm Beach in the two weeks before their arrests.

“I find that as very offensive because again, they’re targeting individuals, hardworking people, and this isn’t just a property crime, this is something that is a very serious crime that’s costing people their livelihoods and their businesses,” McKeone said.

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