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Police bust alleged high-end jewel thieves

June 22, 2010 at 6:32 PM

MIAMI, June 22 (UPI) -- A South Florida gang with a penchant for hitting affluent homes at dinner time stole $2 million in jewels and watches in less than a year, police allege.

Six people have been arrested and charged, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Monday.

Investigators nicknamed the group the "Dinner Set Crew," a tribute to the "Dinner Set Gang" that carried out similar crimes in the 1960s. Both groups tended to strike at dinner time when couples were eating elsewhere and their houses were empty.

In January, a task force was formed to go after the gang, including investigators and prosecutors from the state and the Miami and Palm Beach areas.

The stolen goods, often taken from homes in gated communities, were disposed of through fences or sold on eBay, investigators said. Some gold items were melted down.

"I had jewelry that was from my grandmother that I can never get back," one victim in the Miami area said. "Maybe they'll be able to find it, but the sentimental jewelry is what upset me, the invasion of the house. I haven't felt comfortable since."

The suspects face charges that include racketeering, money laundering and possession of stolen goods. They include Kane Lopez, 31, of Hallandale Beach; Emery Lorenzo, 33, of Miami Lakes; Michael Chala, 24, of Miami Lakes; Silvia Lorenzo Ordonez, 50, of Miami; Jose Ramon Lorenzo, 48, of Lauderhill; and Lazaro Tenreiro, 39, of Roswell, Ga.

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