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‘Crime tourists’: An international spree targets Washington area’s wealthy Asian residents

A string of burglaries in the suburbs of the U.S capital has revealed a crime trend with worldwide reach

Detectives crept into the parking lot of a Days Inn in Alexandria one night in March and surreptitiously attached GPS trackers to a white minivan and a gray sedan, according to a search warrant, reports the Washington Post.

The operation was the culmination of a years-long investigation into a skilled burglary ring, one that authorities say netted about $2 million by focusing on a very specific target: high-end homes of Asian and Middle Eastern families in the D.C. suburbs.

The investigators didn’t know who the burglars were, but they had spent months painstakingly following a trail of digital breadcrumbs across the country to this nondescript motel off Interstate 395.

When the vehicles pulled out with GPS devices activated, law enforcement officers soon stumbled onto something far larger than a local break-in crew. They had uncovered a sophisticated criminal phenomenon with roots in South America and a reach around the world.

Authorities call them “crime tourists.”

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