PORTLAND, Ore. - Three people have been arrested and accused by police for a massive theft ring that targeted dozens of homes.
According to sources, Indian families were targeted, and that the thieves often smashed in a rear door to get into their homes. Then they stole cherished items passed on from generations.
According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, a fourth suspect is still on the loose and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
The suspects are accused of committing several burglaries throughout the Portland area since April 2011 and investigators are looking to see if they are tied to dozens more.
In each case, detectives say the suspects were looking for gold and jewelry and would target homes they believed contained them. The suspects would come from outside the state, rent vehicles, commit the burglaries and then flee to Texas, police said.
After an extensive investigation that included forming a regional task force, police arrested 32-year-old Ana Maria Gutierrez, 18-year-old Rodney Portocarrero Riascos and 24-year-old Deenys Yossimar Ramos on Oct. 27 in Houston, Texas. Vanderley Ortiz, 30, is still at large and deputies say they believe he is currently in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Deputies say the suspects burglarized homes in Portland, Beaverton, Lake Oswego and Vancouver, Wash. They say a large amount of evidence and statements from witnesses helped lead them to the suspects, including reports from neighbors of suspicious vehicles and people in their neighborhoods.
Deputies say on two occasions the suspects broke into the homes and discovered residents inside. In those cases, deputies say the suspects tied up their victims.
According to investigators, the suspects bought tools at local hardware stores and then threw them away after using them to commit the crimes.
The suspects would sell the gold and jewelry to pad their lifestyles, according to deputies.
Gutierrez is being held in the Washington County Jail. Riascos and Ramos are still in Texas, awaiting extradition to Oregon.
The investigation is continuing and deputies say a 50-ounce silver ingot was recovered by detectives but hasn't been linked to a reported burglary. They say they believe someone may not yet realize they are a victim or have not yet reported the theft.
Anyone who may have additional information in this case is encouraged to call the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 503-846-2500.
From left to right: From left to right: Deenys Yossimar Ramos, Ana Gutierrez and Rodney Portocarrero Riascos.