Two Chilean men who were part of a ‘tourist burglary cell’, have been sentenced to spend Christmas in prison after a inconspicuous Vauxhall Astra led to their criminal enterprise falling apart.

Luis Contreras Tuninetti, 39, and Julio Duran Tuninetti, 46, were sentenced to a combined four years and four months in jail at Guildford Crown Court on December 6.

Individually, they received:

  • Luis Contreras Tuninetti was sentenced to three years for four counts of residential burglary after pleading guilty.
  • Julio Duran Tuninetti was sentenced to one year and four months for one count of residential burglary after pleading guilty

The burglary duo were initially arrested on the M25 on August 2, 2023 after officers spotted them in a vehicle that had been flagged as being in the vicinity of a number of Surrey burglaries.

The car, a silver Vauxhall Astra, had been identified as a potential ‘mission vehicle’ and was crucial in linking the two men to their crimes.

Following their arrest, addresses linked to the men were also searched, leading to stolen jewellery and watches being uncovered. Items including two walkie talkies, cash in assorted currencies and multiple bottles of perfume were also found at the addresses.

The Surrey burglary offences relate to two residential burglaries in Oxted and one in Coulsdon.

The successful prosecution of the two men was brought around by a thorough and complex investigation carried out by our officers who used intel, CCTV, ANPR and forensics to build a complete picture of their criminal activities and bring them to justice.

Investigating Officer, DC McBain, said: “Burglary has a devastating impact on victims, leaving them feeling unsafe in their own homes. Burglars feel entitled to things that are not theirs to take, and if you want to come to Surrey to commit burglaries, we will pursue you and do all we can to put you behind bars.”

In conjunction with Surrey Police's 'Autumn Nights' burglary campaign, officers are asking that if you spot any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, to make sure you report it via the force's suspicious activity portal.