A recent rash of break-ins in some of Michigan's most elite neighborhoods has an unusual set of suspects. It sounds like something straight from a Hollywood screenplay, or the first act of a film from 'The Purge' series and movies.

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If you're unfamiliar with the TV and film franchise 'The Purge', it is based on all crimes, including murder, being legalized once a year for 24 hours. The unsettling work of fiction even includes people traveling from other countries to participate in the annual event. It seems life may be imitating art in the State of Michigan, thanks to an international crime ring operating out of Chili.

What is 'Crime Tourism' and Why Michigan Needs to Know

Chilean Crime Tourism: Michigan in the Crosshairs?
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Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard feels the ongoing burglaries targeting Michigan's most lavish and perceived safest neighborhoods could be the work of sophisticated 'crime tourism'. The theory is that gangs travel the Midwest, breaking into high-end homes and moving on to the next area.

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Homes with reported 'state of the art' security systems are being hacked remotely via jamming devices. In a video shown by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department burglars are seen using the latest tech to effortlessly enter a Michigan mansion and make a beeline for jewelry, cash, and other costly items.

Chilean Crime Tourism: Michigan in the Crosshairs?
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Reports have some victims claiming over $100,000 in stolen cash and personal property. Despite the advanced techniques used by these 'transitional criminals', Bouchard still recommends using cameras, sensors, and other home and business security features.

Related: Gone in 90 Seconds, Sold For $300: Michigan Thieves Cashing In

WDIV reports that 30 Michigan law enforcement agencies, along with aid from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol, and even the Secret Service are working to put a stop to the mansion burglaries. Until the ring is stopped, Bouchard advises Michigan to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the authorities.

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