San Jose police arrest two in connection to alleged organized crime spree

SAN JOSE — Police announced Friday that two men have been arrested in connection to an organized crime spree that took place in San Jose between July and October, linking the group to 25 separate alleged crimes.

Search warrants were executed around noon Wednesday at multiple residences in San Jose and Livermore, authorities said, resulting in the seizure of three vehicles and evidence believed to be related to crimes like jewelry-swap scams and robberies, Facebook Marketplace vehicle scams, credit card skimmers and money laundering.

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Two men, 35 and 19, were arrested in what police called a “Romanian Organized Crime String.” Alleged crimes connected to the organization included armed carjacking, armed robbery, strong arm robbery and grand theft.

San Jose police said in a news release Friday that the city has seen a rise in “Romanian organized crime” in which elderly East Asian and Indian people are the main targets. Police detailed ongoing jewelry-swap scams, where suspects distract victims by striking up conversations and offering them fake jewelry items while secretly or forcibly swiping real items.

The organization allegedly poses as general contractors, offering roofing, plumbing or paving or other similar services in order to enter the homes of victims, then taking valuables while distracting the residents, police said.

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