Three Arrested for Burglarizing 26 Asian Business Owners

April 29, 2021

FORT COLLINS, Colorado—Three people have been arrested in connection with 26 residential burglaries in Colorado and Wyoming back in 2019. The victims were all Asian business owners.

A fourth suspect remains a fugitive and is believed to be in South America, according to 9News.

“The suspects in this international case brazenly victimized members of our community and beyond, and they will finally be held accountable,” stated FCPS Criminal Investigations Assistant Chief Tom Doran.

“Every crime is wrong, but one focused against a particular race or ethnic group is particularly reprehensible. I’m all the more proud of our detectives who spent over two years piecing this puzzle together. I’m also grateful for teamwork with local, state and federal partners to help 26 families seek justice,” Chief Doran continued.

Santiago Hoyos Gaviria, 24 and Yenny Zoraya Rodas-Florez, 30, were both arrested in September 2020. A third suspect identified as Carlos Geovanny Florez-Molina, 34, was arrested on April 1, 2021.

Santiago Gaviria (L), Yenny Florez (Center) & Carlos Molina (R). Image via 9News

The fourth suspect, now identified as 28-year-old Jhon Florez-Molina remains a fugitive and is believed to be hiding out in Colombia, South America, reports 9News.

Starting January 2019, authorities began investigating a series of residential burglaries of Asian families by unknown suspects. The homes were burglarized during the day by suspects knocking on the front door for a few minutes to make sure no one was home, and then forcibly entering through a door or window.

Once inside, the suspects ransacked the homes and took cash, jewelry, and safes, according to FCPS. Investigators also learned similar cases with identical patterns were occurring across the country by organized criminal groups with ties to South America, according to 9News.

Total loss from all the burglaries was estimated between $1.3 million — $1.4 million.

After a thorough investigation, FCPS presented their findings with the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. In July 2020, a grand jury issued indictments for Hoyos Gaviria, Rodas-Florez, and Florez-Molina.

Each was charged with:

  • Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) – pattern of racketeering and participating in an enterprise
  • COCCA – conspiracy
  • 24 counts – second-degree burglary to a dwelling
  • 20 counts – theft and/or criminal mischief

Feature Images via 9News

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