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Oakland County Sheriff to hold town hall discussing organized theft groups and home security

International theft ring targeting high-end homes in Metro Detroit
International theft ring targeting high-end homes in Metro Detroit 02:16

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – For almost a year, international burglars have broken into multiple luxury high-end homes in Southeast Michigan.

Months ago, Chilean gangs were arrested in the metro area.

In March, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said these criminals are organized, trained and well-equipped.

Oakland County Sheriff's Office

"They come in teams with backpacks. Each backpack has a different tool set: some are the breaching tools, some are the electronics that jam alarm systems," said Bouchard.

Bouchard says the thieves case homes and snatch jewelry, cash, designer clothing, purses and other products. At one point last year, they stole roughly a million dollars' worth of goods.

"People ask what community or what's not community or neighborhood specific. ... It is target home specific ...very high-end homes with probably high worth valuables in that home that back up to an obscure golf course or wooded area … pond … whatever gives them access to come in unobserved," Bouchard said. 

In December, Bouchard organized a task force to investigate these thefts even further.

On Monday, May 13, at 7 p.m. at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills (470 Church Road), Bouchard will be joined by Chief James Gallagher of the Bloomfield Township Police Department and Captain Tom Van Simaeys of the Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety for a town hall to provide homeowners insight on strategies they can take to prevent these robberies.

"One of the best ways to prevent yourself from being a crime victim is to be situationally aware and to know steps you can take to better protect yourself and your family," said Bouchard. "This town hall will be focused on providing that information."

The event is free and open to the public, but those interested in attending should RSVP to the email address

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