SHAH ALAM: Nobody gives a second glance when a luxury car cruises into an affluent neighbourhood.
However in this case, the car did not belong to a resident. Instead, it carried a gang of Latin American thieves who were responsible for the recent spike in house break-ins here in the past two weeks.
Moving under the cover of the rain, this group set out from 6.30pm onwards and targeted houses whose owners are out in Bukit Jelutong, Section 7, 8, 11, 12 and 13.
Their crime spree ended when the Shah Alam police raided an apartment in Kinrara, Puchong and nabbed five Colombians, aged 22 to 51 and a 22-year old Thai woman.
This was the third group of Latin American thieves busted here this year, with 17 arrests.
"The modus operandi of this Latin gang is similar to the previous two groups busted.
"They would survey a rich residential area and take down the address of the bungalows they wanted to target and come back later when it rains," said Shah Alam district police chief Assistant Commissioner Zahedi Ayob yesterday.
He said the group was believed to be responsible for 40 house break-ins in the past two weeks.
He said following the increase in the number of cases, the police set up a special team to investigate.
"We raided the apartment after two weeks of intelligence work.
"They refused to open the door and we had to cut the lock and grille.
"They were aggressive and resisted arrest. They also attempted to escape."
Police found tools for housebreaking, including metal cutters during the raid.
Police also seized a fake car plate number and stolen items, including laptops, camera, watches and costume jewellery.
Zahedi said police believed most of the valuables and cash have already been disposed.
Police believe there are other Colombian gangs in the area but they are having difficulty getting any information from those arrested as they pretended not to understand English.
"We urge residents to be vigilant and take down the number of luxury cars driven by suspicious looking Latin American men.
"We also urge car rental companies to call the police if suspicious individuals from Latin America rent luxury cars from them."