‘Gang of thieves’ stole $1.2 million in CBD

The 10th alleged member of the international theft syndicate being escorted by police. (Photo: NSW Police)

A 10th alleged member of a Chilean gang accused of a string of thefts in Sydney’s CBD, has been arrested by police.

The organisation is said to be responsible for dozens of robberies, amounting to $1.2 million, since November last year.

Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty, of the State Crime Command’s Robbery and Serious Crime Squad, said the gang was sending the proceeds from the crimes back to Chile.

“We have now put a 10th person before the courts and are continuing to work closely with our international law enforcement partners to intercept stolen items shipped overseas,” he said.

The latest suspect in the case was arrested at Melbourne Airport by Victorian Police on Sunday.

The Public Prosecutor will allege today at Central Local Court the man was involved in the theft of handbags, backpacks, wallets, wedding rings and other personal property.

As well as five counts of stealing from persons, larceny and knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime, the 65-year-old will be charged with one count of providing a false statement to an officer.

Nine other people, all Chilean nationals, have been charged during the investigation and are before the courts.

DS Doherty said police set up Strike Force Merengue to break up the gang and its activities.

“Strike Force Merengue investigators have been very thorough and diligent in disrupting what is a multi-million-dollar co-ordinated theft syndicate,” he added.

“However, we continue to call on members of the community to be vigilant about keeping your homes and personal property secure to lower the risk of you and your family becoming victims of crime.”

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