On Wednesday, Nassau police announced the arrest of four men in connection with a Hicksville burglary who are suspected of committing dozens more in the area. Credit: Newsday/James Carbone

Nassau County police have arrested four members of an alleged Colombian burglary ring suspected of up to 30 heists targeting Indian-American communities in Hicksville and surrounding areas, Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said Wednesday.

Investigators believe the group of Colombian immigrants, who are in the country illegally, would watch victims leave businesses in Hicksville, follow them home and return days later to conduct surveillance for burglaries, Ryder said at a news conference with County Executive Bruce Blakeman.

Ryder did not provide additional information about what led investigators to suspect Indian-American communities were targeted.

The suspects were taken into custody and charged Monday after detectives observed them in the process of burglarizing a residence on South Street in Hicksville, Ryder said.

Members of the Burglary Pattern Team and the Bureau of Special Operations conducting surveillance on the home saw one of the defendants knock on the front door about 1 p.m., then walk away and circle the block several times after no one answered.

Detectives then saw two other men, posing as construction workers and wearing yellow vests, enter the backyard of the residence, believing it to be empty, Ryder said. 

The burglars broke a glass rear sliding door, fleeing when a woman screamed, according to police. The two men then jumped into a getaway car driven by a fourth suspect, police said.

Police arrested the first suspect, Daniel Esteban Jimenez-Carrillo, 30, of South Ozone Park, then stopped a black 2020 Hyundai allegedly used as the getaway car, authorities said.

Also arrested were Gleason Jhoan Hernandez-Gomez, 33, of College Point; and Justin Mora-Soto, 20, and Brayan Alexis Ortiz-Ramos, 20, both of South Ozone Park. All were charged with second-degree attempted burglary and fourth-degree conspiracy and were scheduled for arraignment Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead.

Updated information on their court appearances or whether the four have defense attorneys was not immediately available.

Police said they recovered a stolen AK-47 loaded assault rifle, wrapped in a plastic bag and left in a wooded area across the street from the house.

"Any child could have picked that gun up and shot someone," Ryder said. "The recklessness of this group, besides the damage to the communities, targeting the Indian community in Hicksville."

Ryder said the group is suspected in 20 to  30 burglaries in Bethpage, Hicksville, Levittown and New Hyde Park but they have yet to be charged.

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