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Alleged members of global crime syndicate arrested after $3M jewelry heist in Montreal

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Police believe that an organized crime group from South America was behind a massive jewelry heist at a shopping mall on Montreal's West Island overnight.

The suspects — eight men and two women between the ages of 19 and 38 — took off with a safe, jewelry and other items worth an estimated $3 million after breaking into the Fairview Pointe-Claire shopping centre late Thursday night, according to police.

The suspects, who are of Chilean origin, are believed to be part of the South American Theft Group (SATG), renowned for stealing money and property. The suspects, who don't speak English or French, allegedly used an incendiary device during the robbery, Noovo Info reported.

Shortly after the robbery, at around 1 a.m., Montreal police arrested them as they were attempting to flee in three vehicles, while others were arrested at their homes.

All of them appeared in court Friday to face charges of breaking and entering, theft, conspiracy, and other offences. They remain detained.

Montreal police (SPVM) have arrested eight men and two women in connection with a jewelry store robbery that occurred at the Fairview Pointe-Claire shopping centre.

Crime tourism

The so-called crime tourism trend has been going on for years.

"Operating in several countries, members of this criminal network travel to carry out organized theft activities. SATG is tracked by various police organizations and border services," police said in a news release.

Back in 2020, Montreal police said members of the criminal organization, who often go to foreign countries as tourists, stole $200,000 in a "carefully planned theft" from a currency exchange office in Montreal's Cartier neighbourhood.

Two years earlier, Halton Regional Police arrested more than a dozen Chilean nationals who allegedly broke into 400 homes in the Toronto area, stealing approximately $2.7 million in valuables over several months.

In 2015, Toronto police also arrested 12 Chileans and laid over 97 charges in relation to another operation.

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