GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Police in Goochland County are warning the public to take precautions, as it is believed an international crime ring has been breaking into homes in the county.

The sheriff’s office is currently investigating three such break-ins, all of which occurred in the Rivergate Community. In a release, the Goochland sheriff said during all three instances, the suspects broke into the home using the back patio door. The crimes occurred in December 2022, January 2023 and March 2023.

Based on the information gathered during the investigations so far, the sheriff’s office believes the crimes were committed not by one person, but by an international crime ring based out of South America, known as the South American Theft Group.

According to the sheriff, this group travels up and down the East Coast, where members break into “high-end residential homes.” In the release, the sheriff states the group is made up of hundreds of people, “mostly foreign nationals here on tourist visas.”

The Goochland County Sheriff’s Office said it is working with multiple jurisdictions across the nation and the FBI to investigate the crimes committed by this group.

Residents are reminded to lock the doors to their homes and cars, make sure to arm alarms and make sure cameras are in working order. In addition, residents should secure any jewelry or valuables safely inside their homes.

Anyone with any information relating to these break-ins is asked to contact the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office at 804-556-5349.