Amanda Dirpes | Writer
September 23, 2022
In the past several weeks, an estimated 15 home robberies have targeted wealthier residences in San Clemente’s Talega community, and, an allegedly Chilean, mob is responsible. Their burglaries cascading south through California, this mafia of sorts previously plundered through Newport and Laguna Beach, and is now thieving throughout Talega, one of San Clemente’s more recently annexed tract developments. They mainly steal designer clothing and luxury merchandise from brands including Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.
These South American looters arrived in the United States with no finger prints and undocumented through 90 day visas, and usually conduct their raids between sunset and midnight while disguising themselves as gardeners. They find cover in bushes before hopping backyard fences, and then scaling balconies using garden hoses in order to enter through doors and windows off primary suites. Clearly professionals, they use two-way radios and take advantage of many common house alarms not possessing glass-break protection; thus, breaking in through French doors and focusing on pillaging primary bedroom closets and office spaces. They move speedily in groups and park their vehicles miles from the crime site, waiting for hours in shrubs for the most discreet moment to escape. Up to this point, their crimes have been non-violent, but recently they stole a hand-gun from a residence, and it is unclear whether or not they have intent to use it.
This complex crime ring has incited extreme paranoia among Talegan residents, hence they are taking necessary precautions. “My mom locks the door every night and keeps the lights on in our backyard so they think someone is home,” Junior Preston Lynch explained. Though these methods are effective and practical, police forces also recommend installing glass break and motion sensor alarms. Even with these extensive defenses, “They really be breaking in ‘tho’, ” Senior Logan Zanella emphasized after a house on his own street was burglarized.
Currently, the police have attempted to keep things under-wraps, and there is some speculation as to whether or not the mob truly exists. But news has spread quickly through apps such as Nextdoor. There, community members have communicated with and provided local tips to their neighbors. Considering the multitude of residents reporting robberies, this mob must be more than a conspiracy. Technology spread word quickly, so many took preventative measures early. For now, the best thing citizens can do is lock their doors, keep their lights on, and arm their homes with alarm systems.