Crime Groups

Crime Groups—and their Signatures

  • South American Theft Groups (SATGs) are organizations predominately consisting of Colombian nationals who commit jewelry thefts, burglaries, and robberies. SAGT members usually enter the U.S. illegally with false identification. In the early 1980s, SATGs were involved in distraction type thefts or burglaries of hotel rooms and automobiles, including when jewelry representatives were attending jewelry trade shows. Today, SATGs are primarily engaged in highly organized international violent robberies of traveling jewelry salespersons and distraction/scam thefts from retail jewelry stores, rarely targeting stores. SATGs are based primarily in Atlanta, New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago. Members are 20 years old and up and include males and females. They are highly mobile, moving from city to city and country to country in search of victims and committing multiple robberies across jurisdictions. SATGs are more violent than other groups, often using guns and/or knives to commit their jewelry crimes. They also use sophisticated equipment, conduct multi-vehicle physical surveillance and counter-surveillance, and develop their own "informants" within the jewelry industry to target salespersons and businesses.

  • African-American groups: violent jewelry robberies of jewelry and department stores, using armed robbery grab-and-run, sneak theft, smash-and-grab, diamond-switch or distraction techniques.
  • Yugoslavia, Albania, Croatia and Serbia (YACS) gangs: burglaries of jewelry stores.