Authorities in West Whiteland Township have pinpointed a growing pattern of criminal activity, which entails individuals who have unlawfully entered the United States and are engaging in retail thefts and various other offenses.

“They’re taking advantage of coming to the U.S. and committing these crimes, and being able to disappear to some degree,” said Detective Scott Pezick with the West Whiteland Twp. Police Department.

Recently, the area has been targeted by at least three different groups, successfully escaping with merchandise valued at thousands of dollars. On the 1st of February, authorities reported a theft at the Exton branch of Ulta, where two individuals were involved. The stolen merchandise amounted to approximately $2,000 in value.

The culprits have been identified as Albert Torrealba Jordan and Keiver Guilarte Camps, both hailing from Venezuela. It has been revealed that both individuals entered the United States unlawfully.

“Over the last month, we’ve had what we call South American theft groups,” Pezick said.

The nation experienced a significant increase in unauthorized border crossings at the southern border, reaching a peak in December. Nevertheless, Customs and Border Protection reported a substantial decrease in that figure in January. Despite the fact that the border is almost 2,000 miles away, law enforcement officials stated that it is affecting the local area.

Last June, authorities reported that a male individual was captured on camera at Kohl’s in Exton stealing merchandise valued at $17,000. The Peruvian citizen was apprehended and removed from the country in autumn, but he has since returned to the United States.

“Recently, I was contacted by a federal agency just alerting me he was back in the country,” said Pezick. “That was less than a month ago and he’s back in the United States.”

The groups have been associated with additional criminal activities, such as break-ins. Law enforcement is collaborating with federal agencies to monitor the suspects.