Several members of a gang led by Colombians and wanted for robbing at least six houses and a jewelry store in Mexico City have been arrested, officials said.
Jimmy Alexander Neisa Patiño, Nidia Guerrero Beltran, Sandra Jannett Patiño and Manuel Antonio Garcia Arevalo, all Colombian nationals, were among those arrested, Federal District Attorney Jesus Rodriguez Almeida said.
Camilo Andres Casas and Ernesto Ibarra Bonilla, both Mexican citizens, were also detained by police, the DA said.
One of the women would distract security guards in residential areas, allowing the rest of the gang's members to identify unoccupied houses and break in, Rodriguez Almeida said.
The gang may have been involved in similar robberies in other parts of Mexico, especially in the states of Puebla and Guanajuato, the DA said.
Forty-seven other Colombians have been arrested this year in connection with burglaries and at least 20 of the suspects had links to the gang, Rodriguez Almeida said.
The gang also robbed a downtown Mexico City jewelry store, stealing a large quantity of items, the DA said.
Hector Javier Hernandez, a Colombian citizen, was killed during the jewelry store heist and a police officer was shot by Jimmy Alexander Neisa Patiño, who is considered the gang's leader, Rodriguez Almeida said.
Most of the gang's members were Colombian, but a few Mexicans provided them with vehicles and assistance on some jobs, the DA said.
The gang was busted with information obtained following the arrests of Gerardo Gonzalez Guerrero, Wilson Rubiano Garcia, Martha Barrero Garcia and Anderson Harvey Valencia Linares, Rodriguez Almeida said.
Investigators conducted searches of the suspects' residences after their arrests and found jewelry, computers, televisions, suitcases and telephones that had not yet been sold, the DA said, adding that victims identified the stolen property.
Jimmy Alexander Neisa, according to National Migration Institute, or INM, records, entered Mexico as a tourist on Feb. 5, 2011, Rodriguez Almeida said.
A judge has ordered the suspects held in preventive detention for 30 days, allowing prosecutors to gather more evidence. EFE