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Australian police have arrested a Peruvian man suspected of numerous jewellery and cash thefts. The man, nicknamed the "Rico Suave bandit" has eluded police in the U.S. for more than a year, where he is wanted over similar thefts.
A Peruvian man suspected of a series of brazen robberies appeared in an Australian court on Thursday (February 3).
Hernan Briones-Castillo, dubbed the "Rico Suave bandit," has eluded police in the United States for more than a year. He is wanted in relation to raids on wealthy businessmen and sports stars and was allegedly working his way around Australia.
The 44-year-old was spotted by police at a currency exchange store at The Rocks in Sydney on Wednesday.
Police officers had just been shown a photograph of Briones-Castillo after thefts were reported from rooms in five-star hotels and jewelry stores.
According to police, he was carrying a fake Spanish passport when he was detained.
He is accused of posing as an employee to enter rooms in Sydney's Intercontinental Hotel where he allegedly told staff he was checking on the air-conditioning. He made off with possessions worth thousands of dollars on January 1st.
He then repeated a similar offence at a Travelodge hotel room on January 13.
He was captured on CCTV footage in a Sydney jewelry store on January 1st and 2nd and store staff say he was charming and relaxed.
He also visited another jewelry store at the Four Seasons Hotel, posing as an interested buyer before he allegedly stole two diamond rings worth $55,000.
Investigators are also checking similar incidents in hotels in Melbourne, Perth and Auckland.
Authorities believe Briones-Castillo also stole a Cartier bracelet and a diamond bracelet worth more than $90,000 from the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne.
Briones-Castillo was refused bail and is scheduled to appear in court on March 4.