Hundreds of “burglary tourists” are coming to the UK from South America to raid British homes.
Criminals from countries such as Chile, Peru and Brazil come to the UK on tourist visas with the intention of burgling homes and fleeing the country before being caught.
The games have previously targeted Premier League footballers and celebrities. They are now focusing on wealthy middle-class homes, stealing valuables worth thousands of pounds.
Since the start of 2022, at least 20 Chilean nationals have been arrested but police have admitted they don’t know the scale of the problem.
Some estimates have put the number of criminals coming into the UK at 500 a year. Those doing so even have instructions on where to target and what to take.
The opening up of long-haul travel following the pandemic has allowed for a new wave of Latin American burglary gangs.
In 2020, the MailOnline revealed how 300 Chilean burglars were active in this country, with gangs raiding houses in the Home Counties and Cheshire.
Among those targeted were celebrity chef Marcus Wareing and former Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak, who had £33,000 worth of valuables stolen in 2019.
In another case, two women were jailed after flying to Britain from Chile and breaking into Bernadette Pinkerton’s £3million lakeside home.
Beautician Francisca Santana and mother-of-three Rosa Dotes-Perez snatched up to £15,000 worth of items, including precious gifts given to the 62-year-old. Both had criminal records in Chile.
“If they’ve both got criminal records in their home country, they should never have been let in,” Mrs Pinkerton’s husband told the Mail.