Authorities arrested four people Friday in connection with break-ins at more than 40 homes across Massachusetts, officials announced. 

The break-ins date back to 2018 and targeted families of Indian or South Asian backgrounds, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. 

In total, Ryan said the group stole jewelry and gems from at least 43 homes in 25 cities and towns spanning parts of Middlesex County, the North Shore, the South Shore and beyond. 

Ryan described the alleged burglary ring as “sophisticated” and thanked law enforcement for their efforts to arrest the alleged burglars. She identified the individual people who were arrested as Jovan Lemon, 29; Paul Lemon, 30; Steven Berdugo, 28, and Paul Miller, 46.

The individuals, officials said, are believed to have ties to a “violent Providence-based gang known to law enforcement agencies in Rhode Island.”

“I wish to convey the pleasure we take in being able to seek justice for the victims of this criminal enterprise,” said state police Lt. Col. Mark Cyr at a press conference in Boston announcing the arrests.

“Such brazen criminal actions will not be tolerated in our communities,” he later added.

Ryan said investigators began looking into the burglary ring in the summer of 2023 after a spate of break-ins across Middlesex County. While investigators got to work, police departments across the region shared warnings.

“Residential break-ins are infrequent for Sudbury, but regionally there is an increase exhibiting similar patterns,” Sudbury police said in one message.

Hudson police reported two break-ins in a 48 hour span. In Weston, police chief Denis Linehan addressed his community in a video after a series of break-ins. 

The Middlesex DA’s office said other break-ins happened in Billerica, Boxborough, Carlisle, Easton, Hopkinton, Lincoln, Andover, Bellingham, Boxford, Franklin, Littleton, Medway, Middleton, Millis, North Attleboro, Norwell, Pembroke, Seekonk, Sharon, Southborough, Wenham, and Westwood.

Speaking on Friday, Ryan said the alleged thieves in this case targeted homes because of the belief that they would have large numbers of gems, gold jewelry and cash. 

Ryan said the group entered homes through second-floor windows using ladders. Ryan said the group also avoided cameras and used Wi-Fi jamming technology to hide their identities. The group then made off with stolen goods, sometimes dropping large safes containing valuables out windows. 

Ryan said the group minimized use of their cell phones during their alleged crimes. She said members also appeared to know where home inhabitants were, targeting homes when families were away from their homes. 

Among other things, Ryan said the group used GPS trackers and obtained temple membership lists with the names of families belonging to area temple communities.

Ryan said authorities arrested the alleged thieves in Rhode Island Friday morning. Officials also searched four locations and recovered a large amount of stolen items.

In addition to items with individual values up to $75,000, Ryan said stolen items had emotional value and family significance. Ryan said authorities will work to identify stolen items and have them returned. 

The total estimated value of the stolen goods was over $4 million, according to the DA’s office.

Ryan credited a “coordinated law enforcement effort” spanning several states with bringing suspects in this case into custody. Beyond law enforcement, she and others speaking on Friday thanked members of targeted communities for their support.

“There’s many of us in this room that have been waiting for this day,” said Acting Lincoln Police Chief Sean Kennedy. “But none more than the South Asian community.” 

The DA’s office said the defendants in this case were indicted on 95 total counts of unarmed burglary and breaking and entering a dwelling house in the daytime with intent to commit a felony.

The investigation, officials said, is open and ongoing.

This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.

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