Arrests Made in Alleged Grand Theft, Robbery Ring

Photo Credit: Airman 1st Class Gustavo Castillo

Authorities announced three additional arrests Tuesday in an investigation into an alleged large-scale robbery and street robbery ring targeting seniors and people of Asian descent in the San Diego area and across the country.

Arrested in the case in the last two weeks were Romanian citizens Marco Miclescu, Eduard Ghiocel and Floarea Ghiocel, according to the San Diego Police Department. The relationship, if any, between the latter two was not immediately clear.

The suspects are among 13 people arrested by the SDPD for allegedly taking part in the alleged criminal scheme that allegedly involved a large group of itinerant thieves operating across the country. In all, hundreds of perpetrators carried out the crimes and more arrests are pending, according to police.

“This group of thieves preyed on the most vulnerable members of our community and took advantage of their kindness to steal for profit,” San Diego Police Lt. Adam Sharki said. “The loss is estimated in millions of dollars. Detectives also discovered that the thieves targeted specific communities where seniors and people of Asian descent live and shop.”

Typically, the victims were in a shopping mall or walking around their neighborhoods when the thieves approached them, saying they were from Dubai and asking for directions or saying they had been robbed and needed help getting back to their country. source. .

“Once the victims started talking to (them) and let their guard down, the (perpetrators) used distraction techniques and sleight of hand to steal necklaces, watches, rings and cash,” Sharki said.

In some cases, when initial attempts to surreptitiously steal money and valuables from victims fail, thieves use force to rob them, according to police, who believe many victims of the criminal ring have failed to come forward.

“Based on our conversations with community members, we know that only a very small percentage of actual crimes have been reported by victims to the police,” the lieutenant said.

–City news service

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