A pair of Chilean men were arrested in Great Neck last week when they were caught in the act of breaking into a Saddle Rock home, according to police officials.
Police arrested Bryan Alexis Farias Luna, 28, of Puente Alto, Chile, and Isaias Antonio Lienlaf Donoso, 35, of Santiago, Chile on Tuesday, Dec. 10 around 5:30 p.m.
According to reports, a five-week-long investigation of home and vehicle break-ins across the county led officials to Luna and Donoso.
Saddle Rock Mayor Dan Levy, whose house was a victim of the first in the string of robberies over a month ago, said he was shocked to hear what items the men had stolen from his home.
“We had experienced the first major burglary in the Village of Saddle Rock, unfortunately, it was my house, exactly five weeks ago,” Levy said. “Forget about the value of the items that were stolen. All my personal mementos of my dad were gone that night. I didn’t just feel violated, I have a tremendous hole in my heart that I can’t fill.”
Levy extended his gratitude to the police department once the duo was finally apprehended. He informed residents around the area to remain aware of suspicious activity, saying that Luna and Donoso are not the only ones police are searching for.
“Tonight we saw our police department at its best tonight,” Levy wrote in a statement on the night of the arrest. “We need to continue to be vigilant. This is not the only burglary team. So we need to continue to lock doors and keep alarms on until the other groups are apprehended as well.”
The house where Luna and Donoso were spotted is located Melville Lane and Longfellow Road.
Levy also said that he “wants to see the two men prosecuted to the full extent of the law” and that increased security in the village will soon be implemented.
Officials said the investigation remains ongoing and could be a part of an international ring. Luna and Donoso initially came into the United States on a 90-day Visa, with the intent to target homes in wealthy areas.
Both men were charged with burglary in the second degree and arraigned at the First District Court in Hempstead on Wednesday, Dec. 11 on $50,000 bond or $25,000 cash bail, according to officials.
Village of Plandome Heights Mayor Kenneth Riscica said the Chilean duo were suspects in residential break-ins around the Manhasset area as well.
“Let’s be sure our homes are secured with windows and doors locked, exterior and interior lighting, and cars locked in driveways,” he said. “Let’s let them know that Plandome Heights is not fertile ground for mischief.”