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Long Island police say criminals from Chile are using a visa waiver program to enter the U.S. to burglarize affluent homes before flying back home.
Five members of one such Chilean burglary crew were charged Friday with breaking into 16 “Gold Coast” homes on the north shore of Long Island following their arrests a day earlier at a Bronx motel where they were found in possession of the loot, Nassau County police said.
Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said the suspects were part of a crime ring sent to the U.S. on 90-day ESTA visas to rob homes.
“We believe all five of these individuals entered through the southwest border, they came up through California, they committed crimes in Beverly Hills in California and came out here to the New York area,” Ryder told a news conference Friday, according to Long Island News 12.
ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) visas allow travel to the U.S for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without having to obtain a U.S. visa.