“Burglary tourists” from South America are targeting mansions in areas of the North West popular with Premier League footballers.
The organised crime network has reportedly struck at least eight times in Cheshire.
Homes were ransacked around Wilmslow and Alderley Edge where many Manchester United, Man City and Liverpool stars live.
Among previous cases in London was a £33,000 raid on the home of the TV chef Marcus Wareing, 49, in Wimbledon, last October.
And it is thought a burglary in December at the nearby home of Mamadou Sakho, 30, the Crystal Palace footballer, was also carried out by a Chilean gang.
Mr Wareing’s home was burgled by four men, all from Chile, who flew in from South America days before the burglary.
Necklaces, a gold Rolex watch and two Omega watches were among the items stolen.
Scotland Yard set up Operation Genie in 2017 to target the thieves.
Deputy chief constable Amanda Blakeman said: “We have seen a small number of burglaries where criminals have travelled from abroad specifically with the intention of targeting high-value properties in the UK.”