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Police: California seeing a spike in "crime tourism"

When groups come to CA to commit burglaries.
Burglary (FILE)
Posted at 10:27 AM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 13:27:25-04

(KERO) — We see it all the time: burglars on doorbell cameras, catalytic converter thefts, the list goes on and on. But this is different. Police call it "crime tourism" when groups come to California to commit burglaries.

Surveillance video that was released from a Northern California police department shows a burglary crew from another country targeting a luxury home. It's just one of a series of crimes in California involving robberies planned in other countries.

Earlier this month, Ventura County sheriffs arrested a four-man crew.

"This is crime tourism. They're coming here for the purpose of targeting neighborhoods. Specifically vehicles, homes," explained Commander Erik Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office. "They're not violent crimes. They're going after the big bucks. They target homes that back up to golf courses and open space. And they'll literally stand in the bushes and watch and when people and sometimes it's a two-hour window they'll go out to dinner or something like that they'll go in and pounce."

According to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, most of the crimes are committed after burglars apply for tourist visas. Deputies say the robberies typically start after the suspects land at California airports.