Washington County, Ore., sheriff’s detectives late last month arrested three people in Houston, Texas, who are suspected of being involved in more than 40 burglaries in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area since April 2011.
On Oct. 27, detectives from Washington County served arrest warrants on suspects in Texas with assistance from Portland and Houston police.
Arrested were Ana Maria Gutierrez, 32, Rodney Portocarrero Riascos, 18, and Deenys Yossimar Ramos, 24.
Riascos and Ramos are in a jail in Houston awaiting extradition. Gutierrez is in the Washington County Jail on suspicion of multiple charges including burglary, felony theft, robbery and kidnapping. She is being held on $1,500,000 bail, police said.
A fourth suspect, Vanderley Ortiz, 30, is believed to be in Vancouver, British Columbia, to avoid arrest warrants. He is accused of more than 10 crimes.
According to a Washington County Sheriff’s Office bulletin, detectives started reviewing evidence from local cases in 2011 and determined that a group of people was coming into the area to commit series of crimes before fleeing the state. Detectives worked with other local police, including the Vancouver Police Department, to investigate. Investigators were able to connect the crimes to similar ones in Texas, Colorado, Virginia, Georgia and Washington.
Detectives say the group would come to the area in rental cars, commit burglaries and go back to Texas after that. They used tools bought from local hardware stores and would dump them before leaving, according to the bulletin. In two cases, suspects detained residents who were home during the robberies, police said.
The group targeted people who they suspected would have gold or jewelry in their homes. Police believe the group would take the items back to Texas to be sold.
Detectives are still investigating the case.