Sophisticated burglar hits downtown Dinuba business, prompting store owners to make upgrades

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Alex Gonzales, the owner of Alejandra's Furniture in Downtown Dinuba, says after a recent rash of break-ins in downtown, she's not taking any chances.

The burglary of a neighboring jewelry store this past Friday was the push she needed to upgrade her alarm system.

"We do have a lot of break-ins that are going on," Gonzales said.

Her neighbor, jewelry store Rivera's Joyeria, was the target of one of the most devastating. It's like a plot out of Hollywood blockbuster.

According to detectives, the thieves used the roof to break into the vacant business next door. They then tore through brick to gain access to a safe at Rivera's that was pushed up against the wall.

Employees say the suspects cut through the back of the safe and took $100,000 worth of cash and jewelry, all without ever stepping foot inside the store.

Gonzales was also targeted a year ago. Burglars broke in through the back door and stole merchandise and valuable information.

"Somehow, I had paperwork, my social was there, my ID," Gonzalez said. "They did some fraud and identity theft."

She says break-ins have become all too common in downtown, with many businesses becoming victims.

Police have now stepped up patrols and continue to urge owners to secure their properties.

"If we could put a cop in every business when no one is there, we would do that, but obviously we can't do that," says Sgt. Ryan Robison with the Dinuba Police Department.

Gonzales is hopeful the increased police presence deters future thieves but adds the only guarantee is taking her stores' security into her own hands.

Dinuba Police say if a business does fall pray, to call them as soon as they're notified of the break-in since alarm companies can be delayed in their response.

As for the burglary at Rivera's, detectives say they're having difficulties tracking down the thieves since cameras didn't really capture them.
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