(CBS DETROIT) - Law enforcement agencies in Metro Detroit are teaming up to take down what they believe is an international organized crime group targeting high homes in the area.
Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard says a newly-created task force called the Southeast Michigan Collaborate Arrest and Prosecute (SEMCAP) is launching to finally put an end to the crimes that are raising concerns among homeowners.
"It's very frustrating. It's very unnerving to the community," Bouchard said. "It's frustrating for us not to have an endpoint to this."
Bouchard says the group could be responsible for around 40 burglaries in places like Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, and Grosse Pointe.
He says the group is targeting high-end homes in secluded areas and at times staking out the homes to make sure the homeowner isn't there.
"This group is so highly functional, they are well trained, and they are targeting our region," he said.
Bouchard says the task force was launched to take down the suspects they believe are part of a sophisticated international crew.
He believes the group is from Chile and making their way into the country through the southern border or via a less restrictive visa.
Bouchard says the task force will be able to share information and intelligence while also expanding its manpower for investigative work.
"All of the agencies involved have committed and do all they can to partner and share resources and information," he said.
Bloomfield Hills Police Chief James Gallagher says several homes have been targeted in his area
He says the extra resources from the task force can finally put them a step ahead of a group that seems to be targeting homes not only in Metro Detroit but in different states as well
"It's frustrating because they may be gone before we even know. If they did jam the alarm or homeowners forgot to set the alarm we could be 10 mins or two hours behind them," he said.
Bouchard also said they've arrested four people who are connected to the organized crime crew but won't release more information until charges are filed.
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