FORT COLLINS, Colo. (KDVR) – Investigators have busted a burglary ring with international ties. The four suspects are accused of targeting Asian business owners across Colorado and Wyoming.
“Operation Daylight” was a two-year investigation that started in Fort Collins with reports of five residential burglaries that all fit the same pattern. They happened in broad daylight, and the homeowners were all of Asian descent who owned small businesses like restaurants or salons. The residents were not home when the break-ins occurred.
“At the six-month mark in July 2019, our total losses were between $1.3 to $1.4 million in cash and jewelry stolen from these families’ homes,” said Detective David Lindsay of the Fort Collins Police Department.
Detectives believe these incidents may be related to at least 20 similar burglaries in Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Greeley and Castle Rock.
“These were not just random burglaries occurring that we were piecing together. These were calculated, organized efforts to go after a specific population and specific things within that house,” Lindsay said.
The thieves didn’t just take belongings, they also stole a sense of security.
“Every victim family I spoke with shared a sense of violation, violation of their privacy, having their house broken into forcibly, during broad daylight,” said Lindsay.
The suspects have been identified as:
- Santiago Hoyos Gaviria of Miami (DOB 08/05/96)
- Yenny Zoraya Rodas-Florez of Miami (DOB 10/08/90)
- Jhon Eder Florez-Molina of Miami (DOB 12/13/92)
- Carlos Geovanny Florez-Molina of Miami (DOB 02/14/87)
Jhon Florez-Molina remains a fugitive and is believed to be evading arrest in Colombia, South America.
The suspects have been charged with:
- Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) – Pattern of racketeering and participating in an enterprise (class 2 felony)
- COCCA – conspiracy (class 2 felony)
- 24 counts – second-degree burglary to a dwelling (class 3 felony)
- 20 counts – theft and/or criminal mischief (varying classifications)
“Today’s announcement highlights the increase in crimes against Asian Americans. We in Colorado won’t tolerate it. Those who commit crimes against an individual or community because of their ethnicity or cultural background must be held to account. I am proud of our collaboration with the Fort Collins Police Services and the 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in pursuing justice for the 26 Asian business owners and their families who were targets of the home burglary criminal ring we uncovered,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser said.