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February 6, 2018 > Police investigate massive fencing and burglary ring

Police investigate massive fencing and burglary ring

Submitted By Geneva Bosques, Fremont PD

In response to a dramatic spike in Bay Area auto burglaries, Fremont Police launched a regional investigation recently resulting in nine arrests and millions of dollars in recovered property.

Over the last two months, Fremont detectives uncovered a massive international fencing scheme in the Bay Area. The investigation began in late 2017 as detectives were conducting follow-up investigations to several auto burglaries taking place in commercial shopping centers along the I-880 corridor in Fremont. Because of an approximate 35 percent increase in theft from autos during 2017, several department resources were directed at the rising crime

During an undercover surveillance operation on Dec. 8, 2017, property crimes detectives were led to a storage facility in San Jose. At the location, detectives saw suspects loading suspected stolen electronic devices into a large storage container commonly used to ship freight overseas. Detectives seized and searched the container, discovering more than 900 stolen electronic devices (laptops and tablets). The estimated $1 million in stolen property was intended for shipment to Vietnam.

A careful investigation revealed a highly sophisticated multi-million dollar fencing scheme operating in the Bay Area. Street-level criminal suspects, many of them members of validated street gangs, were found to be breaking and entering parked vehicles in cities throughout the Bay Area to steal laptops, smart phones and tablets. It was determined that the conspiracy was centralized in Santa Clara County. Detectives consulted with the Santa Clara County District AttorneyÕs Crime Strategies Unit, who assisted in authoring warrants and high bail affidavits for the large scale pre-planned operation, throughout the investigation.

On Thursday, Jan. 25, detectives organized a multi-location operation to serve seven search warrants around the Bay Area. With the assistance of United States Customs Airport Division, two of the targets were stopped as they attempted to board a flight to Vietnam. The two suspects had 18 items of luggage containing more than 300 suspected stolen electronic devices. Detectives recovered more than 700 more items of suspected stolen property and arrested seven more suspects on the day of the operation at the suspect locations.

The total recovered loss at this point in the investigation is estimated to be about $2 million.

In collaboration with the Santa Clara County District AttorneyÕs Office, eight of the suspects were charged with multiple felony counts including conspiracy, possession of stolen property and an excessive takings enhancement. The ninth suspect was arrested and released. This case remains open and ongoing with detectives continuing to identify the additional suspects responsible for breaking and entering vehicles in Fremont.

Those arrested included:

¥ Carlos Paz, 28, of San Francisco
¥ Huong Tran, 31, of San Jose
¥ Benjamin Pham, 44, of San Jose
¥ Luan Huynh, 30, of San Jose
¥ Hung On, 51, of San Jose
¥ Cinthia Martinez, 38, of San Francisco
¥ Marvin Paz, 33, of San Francisco
¥ Rony Martinez, 34, of San Francisco


Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Fremont Police General Crimes Unit at (510) 790-6900 or email Detective A. Stillitano at astillitano@fremont.gov. Anonymous tips can also be sent by texting to TIP FREMONTPD followed by your message to 888-777, or via the web at https://local.nixle.com/tip/alert/6216337.

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