Police arrest 3 suspects linked to ‘South American Theft Groups’ in Phoenix

Feb 17, 2024, 6:42 PM

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX — Phoenix law enforcement arrested three suspects at what appeared to be an attempted break-in on Friday evening, authorities said.

Surveillance officers in a neighborhood spotted multiple suspects closing in on a residential home near 44th Street and Camelback Road, and officers moved in to thwart the attempted burglary.

The suspects left the property for unknown reasons and got into a nearby minivan, according to authorities. Although officers had blocked in the minivan from leaving, the driver persisted, ramming into unmarked police vehicles but was unsuccessful in the escape attempt.

Four suspects exited the minivan and ran into the neighborhood. Officers set up a perimeter around the neighborhood, arresting three of the suspects and recovering alleged burglary tools discarded in the area. Officers were unable to find the fourth suspect.

The three arrested suspects were identified as 20-year-old driver Sue Ellen Gutierrez Saez, 21-year-old Johan Salvo Alacon and 25-year-old Manuel Eduardo Fuentes Gomez. Each were booked on burglary charges while the driver was also booked on aggravated assault on a police officer.

All three were using fraudulent identification and overstayed visas, according to authorities.

What are the “South American Theft Groups?”

The Phoenix Police Department announced on Feb. 5 that it was working with other Valley agencies to “identify and arrest multiple burglary suspects tied to South American Theft Groups.”

According to the report, a transnational organized crime group referred to as a SATG was being linked to burglaries in the Phoenix area since early December 2023, noting the group was targeting smaller items, such as jewelry or credit cards, with a larger cash value.

In the Feb. 17 report, authorities noted there could still be “several SATGs members outstanding” and they “encourage the community to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

People in the Valley are without power after weekend outages...

Power mostly restored across metro Phoenix morning after storms rolled through

Over 200 people in the Valley went without power early Monday morning, according to the Salt River Project and Arizona Public Service.

2 hours ago

Hemisphere GNNS logo...

Payne Moses

Arizona GPS company agrees to pay $2.6M to settle false claims allegations

Hemisphere GNSS Inc., an Arizona-based satellite GPS manufacturer, agreed to pay $2.6 million in order to settle allegations it gave false information in application for a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

3 hours ago

etta, the restaurant in Scottsdale, will close temporarily for renovations after being acquired by ...

etta restaurant in Scottsdale to close temporarily after sale

PHOENIX —etta, the Italian-inspired neighborhood restaurant in Scottsdale Quarter, is temporarily closing for renovations beginning Monday. The eatery will reopen under new ownership in September, but still keep the same name. The restaurant near Scottsdale Road and Greenway-Hayden Loop will be open for lunch and dinner each day and offer brunch on the weekends. Why […]

3 hours ago

Judge serving justice in court...

Phoenix man convicted of assaulting officer, human smuggling south of Tucson

A 55-year-old Phoenix man was convicted of crimes related to the assault of a federal officer and human smuggling last week.

3 hours ago

Interior of Picklemall, at the Arizona Mills shopping mall in Tempe, which is closing down....

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Picklemall exec opens up about abrupt closing of 16-court facility in Tempe

Less than a year after opening in the Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe, a pickleball concept is closing its doors.

4 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Police investigating 3-car crash that killed man in north Phoenix

The Phoenix Police Department is investigating a deadly three-car collision that left one man dead and sent two others to the hospital.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Police arrest 3 suspects linked to ‘South American Theft Groups’ in Phoenix