Chilean teen charged over $1m in high-end thefts to stay behind bars
A South American teenager who was allegedly part of an international theft syndicate that stole more than $1 million worth of luxury goods will remain behind bars after she was charged and extradited to NSW from Victoria.
Anastassia Saavedra Urzua is one of eight Chilean nationals charged with stealing designer products, cash and gold in aggravated break-ins in Sydney and Melbourne over several months.
The group is suspected of similar offences in Canada, the US, Queensland, the ACT and Victoria.
The 19-year-old also faced charges for lying to police about her migration status, a Sydney court heard yesterday.
Ms Saavedra Urzua appeared via audiovisual link at Central Local Court after she was charged with two counts of knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.
Police allege she sent overseas up to $40,000 worth of luxury items stolen from high-end stores around Sydney and North Strathfield. Her arrest is part of an ongoing investigation into 80 aggravated break-ins across Sydney over three months last year. Police believe members of the syndicate, including a possible ringleader, are still on the run.
Serious Crimes Squad Commander Detective Superintendent Daniel Doherty said police were tipped off about the syndicate by authorities in Canada, where 14 people have been arrested in Toronto over $2.5m worth of theft.
“It was very well planned. They were researching the premises, the areas. That is what we will allege in court,” Superintendent Doherty said late last year when the members were arrested.
“There were lookouts. They had stories ready to go about why they were in the area … It was a very co-ordinated criminal group getting in and getting out. It’s not hard to research certain homes in Sydney, really, or anywhere.’’
Ms Saavedra Urzua did not apply for bail yesterday and it was formally refused by magistrate Robert Williams. The matter is due back in the same court in early March, when Ms Saavedra Urzua is scheduled to appear again via video link.
Meanwhile, police have laid a further 65 charges on several other members of the alleged shoplifting syndicate.
Guiovanni Saladrigas Garcia, 22, has been charged with 19 counts of aggravated break, enter, and steal, and Diana Veloso Hernandez, 36, faces 16 counts of the same offence.
They both remain in custody and will appear in Burwood Local Court, in Sydney’s inner west, on January 23.