Police: 4 Floridians arrested in Henrico, may be members of the South American Theft Group

Police: 4 Floridians arrested in Henrico, may be members of the South American Theft Group
Sophia Andrea Heckman Gomez, 28, Daniel Esteban Herrera Otazia, 31, Brayan Munoz Riquelme Munoz, 24, and Jonathan Cristopher Espinoza Vilches, 35, were arrested by Henrico Police and charged with credit card fraud (Source: Henrico Police)

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Henrico police have arrested four Floridians who face fraud charges after police say they stole a woman’s wallet in Short Pump.

On November 22 police were called to the 11000 block of W. Broad Street around 3 p.m. for a reported larceny.

“The victim’s wallet was in the cart right behind her and upon turning around, it was gone,” police said. “There was cash and other property inside which was stolen.”

The responding officer was able to get a description of the suspects and relayed that information to an officer who was investigating another larceny nearby.

“A traffic stop was initiated as the vehicle [with out of state plates] exited the parking lot in the 11000 block of W. Broad,” police said. “The occupants matched the description.”

Police arrested Sophia Andrea Heckman Gomez, 28, Daniel Esteban Herrera Otazia, 31, Brayan Munoz Riquelme Munoz, 24, and Jonathan Cristopher Espinoza Vilches, 35. All of the suspects are from Miami, Florida, according to police.

A Henrico Police spokesman said investigators believe the four are members of the South American Theft Group, which are skilled pick pocketers.

According to the FBI, the group is made up of organizations “predominately consisting of Colombian nationals who commit jewelry thefts, burglaries and robberies” and typically enter the U.S. illegally with false identification.

“Members are 20 years old and up and include males and females,” the FBI said. “They are highly mobile, moving from city to city and country to country in search of victims and committing multiple robberies across jurisdictions.”

“Henrico Police continue to work with Homeland Security and other localities outside of Virginia on this pending case,” said Lt. Matt Pecka. “All of the individuals remain in custody without bond.”

All four men and women face charges of credit card fraud.

Henrico Police remind holiday shoppers to keep personal items on them at all times and to not leave any purses or bags in carts while shopping.

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