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HAMILTON COUNTY, IND — Jeremy Martinez (19), Ignacio Ruiz-Saldias (29), and Tamara Ruiz-Saldias (36), Chilean nationals, face charges in both central Indiana and Michigan for a string of home thefts.


The trio is charged with conducting a criminal enterprise and eight counts of second-degree home invasion in affluent Michigan homes. Belonging to the “South American Theft Group,” they are accused of eight break-ins between Feb. 3 and Feb. 11, 2023. Authorities suspect non-citizen temporary residents from South America in these orchestrated home invasions.


They are in custody in Hamilton County and accused of similar thefts, including one involving an estimated $250,000 worth of items. All three face burglary and theft charges exceeding $50,000, filed in March 2023 for an incident in late February.


Their arrests occurred on Feb. 27, 2023, with a pretrial hearing set for Jan. 24, 2024. Additional arrests of group members happened in Kokomo for alleged home break-ins.


In Hamilton County, all three are charged with burglary and theft of property valued at over $50,000, with charges filed in March 2023 linked to a theft from late February.


The trio was booked into the Hamilton County Jail on Feb. 27, 2023, following their arrests by the Carmel Police Department. According to court records, a pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24, 2024.