VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. (TCD) -- A 43-year-old burglary suspect from Chile was reportedly arrested last week after a physical altercation with the homeowner.
According to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, on April 1 at approximately 6:30 p.m., a homeowner returned home and saw a sports utility car in front of his house with an unknown driver sitting inside the vehicle. The homeowner reportedly went inside his house and struck a suspected burglar, then the burglar ran outside and entered the car.
According to KTTV-TV, the homeowner confronted a second burglar, allegedly Alexis Provoste Aranguiz, inside his residence. The two reportedly got into a physical altercation. The homeowner allegedly detained Aranguiz until deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department arrived.
The homeowner, Sal Mercado, told KTLA-TV, "I just didn’t give him a chance, just hit him, because first of all, I don’t know if he has a gun, a knife, any kind of weapon, right? You just don’t know. Your mind goes crazy."
Authorities searched Aranguiz and recovered stolen property on his person, the District Attorney’s Office says.
The driver and other suspected burglar reportedly fled the location and remain at large.
Aranguiz reportedly suffered several facial fractures during the confrontation. He was allegedly treated at the hospital before his arrest.
According to records, Aranguiz was charged with first-degree residential burglary and conspiracy to commit a crime. He remains held on $150,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court April 14. The District Attorney’s Office says Aranguiz initially pleaded not guilty in court on April 5.
According to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, Aranguiz is from Chile and is believed to be a member of a South American burglary ring. KTLA reports authorities believe the ring is part of a large crime tourism stunt where criminals apply for visas online, fly into Los Angeles, and target homeowners.
In a statement, Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko said, "We ask our residents to remain vigilant and report suspicious activity to local law enforcement. My office will continue to work aggressively with our law enforcement partners to charge and prosecute South American Theft Groups and crews that target residential communities."