“The homes appear to be burglarized when the owners were out of town or gone for the evening,” said Fairfax County police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. “We suspect they were surveilling and profiling victims.”
Items stolen include an antique gold watch worth $30,000 to $40,000, $100,000 in cash, and valuable artifacts from Africa and China, Guglielmi said. In all, police believe the value of the stolen items could be as much as $1.6 million. Authorities are also probing whether the same ring is tied to other burglaries in Montgomery County, New Jersey and New York, Guglielmi said.
Jonathan Ceballos Gomez, Juan Rodriguez Lopez, Sergio Rodriguez Lopez and Jesus Andres Montemiranda Salazar were each indicted on two counts of racketeering Monday by a grand jury, said the office of Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano.
One of the men indicted, Sergio Rodriguez Lopez, was already in custody, but arrest warrants have not been served on the other three. An attorney for Lopez did not return a request for comment.
“A family’s home is more than just a venue where you eat and sleep — it’s a sanctuary and place that should signify security,” Descano said in a statement. “Crimes such as the ones alleged in these indictments undercut that security and create fear that the fruits of years of hard work can be taken away in an instant.”
County police have also been investigating another ring targeting the homes of people of Asian and Middle Eastern descent. The group had targeted at least 23 homes as of last year and made off with more than $1 million in stolen items, police said. Police have not made arrests in that case.