International Burglary and Fencing Scheme Investigation Nets Nine Arrests
Photo: 8 suspects in scheme
FREMONT– Nine individuals suspected of participating in an international criminal scheme were arrested on January 25 during raids organized by Fremont police detectives, with assistance from the Airport Division of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
The raids follow a huge increase in reported vehicle burglaries throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, which spurred a two-month investigation that uncovered an international fencing operation involving stolen property estimated to be worth $2 million.
Reported vehicle burglaries in Fremont alone increased by 35% last year. Many of these crimes occurred at shopping centers located near Interstate Highway 880.
An undercover investigation led detectives to a storage facility in San Jose, where investigators observed suspects loading stolen electronic devices into large shipping container—the kind used for transporting freight overseas.
Detectives seized and searched the shipping container and located more than 900 electronic devices, including laptop computers, smart phones, and tablet computers.
Follow-up raids were conducted in several Bay Area locations. Two of the individuals arrested were caught trying to board an airline flight to Vietnam, carrying 18 pieces of luggage filled with more than 300 suspected stolen electronic devices.
Detectives also recovered more than 700 other suspected stolen electronic devices at other locations on January 25.
Suspects arrested include San Francisco residents Carlos Paz, 28, Cinthia Martinez, 38, Marilyn Paz, 33, and Rony Martinez, 34. Four San Jose residents were also arrested: Huong Tran, 31, Benjamin Pham, 44, Luan Huynh, 30, and Hung On, 51.
The suspects are charged with multiple felonies, including conspiracy to commit crimes, and possession of stolen property. A ninth suspect was also arrested, but subsequently released by police.