Detectives in Fremont last week busted an international burglary ring and recovered millions of dollars worth of stolen computers and cellphones, the Fremont Police Department announced Wednesday.
Eight suspects were taken into custody on Jan. 25: 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' and Rony Martinez, 34, of San Francisco.
Some of those electronics were stolen from cars and were being shipped to Vietnam, police said.
Detectives found about $1 million worth of electronics at a storage facility in San Jose, and a total of $2 million worth of goods were recovered, police said. The suspects had been loading the stolen items into a big container to be shipped overseas.
The investigation started with car break-ins in the Bay Area, and it led undercover police from Fremont to an international, multi-million dollar crime.
"We have victims as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada, Los Angeles and every county in the Bay Area," Fremont police Lt. Michael Tegner said. "This is a very organized crime. It’s a very sophisticated crime."
Detectives believe many of the items, mainly laptops and cellphones, were stolen from people’s cars along the Interstate 880 corridor in Fremont.
"You have a whole lot of street criminals selling them to one person, then that person was selling them to other people, and those people were shipping the items to Vietnam," Tegner said.
At the San Jose storage facility, more than 900 stolen laptops, tablets and phones were recovered.
"They were storing this stuff in the public storage containers, and then every once in awhile, the Konix box would show up, and they’d load it all into the back ... and they’d ship it to the Port of Oakland,"
Two of the suspects were stopped and arrested by U.S Customs officials for trying to take hundreds of stolen electronics in their luggage on a flight bound for Vietnam. The two suspects had 18 items of luggage containing more than 300 suspected stolen electronic devices, police said.
In collaboration with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, the eight suspects were charged with multiple felony counts, including conspiracy, possession of stolen property and an excessive takings enhancement, police said. A ninth suspect was arrested and released.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Fremont Police General Crimes Unit at 510-790-6900 or email Detective A. Stillitano at AStillitano@fremont.gov. They will also accept anonymous tip by text. Text TIP FREMONTPD followed by your message to 888-777, or via the web at https://local.nixle.com/tip/alert/6216337.