FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --One area of downtown Fresno is seeing a dip in auto thefts. Fresno police said a local security company has helped make that possible.
Fresno police said the mural district, in the last 5 days, has had zero auto thefts and the department credits the work of local private security-- in addition to its officers-- for helping bring crime in this area down.
Auto burglaries in the Mural District have been an ongoing problem for several months. Raymond Villasenor would know, three months ago his girlfriend's car was broken into while parked outside of their apartment. "They didn't take anything, I think it was just homeless people, like, looking for a bag of clothes or something like that."
To put an end to the rise in crime, the apartment complex the two rent from hired private security to step in. The guy given the assignment, Nicholas Perez. He's been patrolling and walking through the neighborhood for almost three weeks now. "It's been pretty active, we've been making a lot of contacts with individuals walking through the neighborhoods, and walking through parking lots, and around the cars."
A busy job that has made some big improvements.
In December there were four reported auto break-ins in the Mural District, last month there were three, and so far this month there has only been one. "We've seen dramatic reductions. We know that whenever you have an increase presence of active security in a particular area, or you have the active presence of police officers, you have a good chance in driving crime down and that's what we've seen in the Cultural Arts District," said Chief Jerry Dyer, Fresno Police Department.
And the presence of the added security makes residents like Raymond Villasenor feel a little more at ease. "It definitely makes it feel safer. It makes you actually want to come live here and tell other people it's not as bad as everyone thinks it is."
Perez said the key to keeping the auto burglaries down is to lock your doors and avoid leaving valuables inside your car.
Fresno police said, despite they're being private security they will continue to monitor this area.
They also said not every security is good security, so anyone looking at hiring a company should make sure it is a reputable one where the individuals there are actively deterring crime.