Fresno man outsmarts car thief

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno man made a very bold move and outsmarted a car thief.

Moises Ornelas isn't a detective but he did help deputies solve a case.

"When something bugs me, I have to get down to the bottom of it," Ornelas added.

Last week, someone stole his car and he reported it with no luck. A few days later though, he says the thief followed up with a phone call and text messages. Ornelas says his number was listed on some paperwork inside the glove compartment.

Ornelas said, "First he came at me like an innocent guy like, hey, I found your car, it's been parked out here for 3 days."

Moises didn't get a name but he did get an offer -- $300 in exchange for the location of the car and the deal would go down at a gas station on Kings Canyon.

Ornelas said, "I was just thinking, I'm not gonna give him no cash, I'm gonna see where my car's at first."

At the gas station, he met a man with a red Air Jordan tattoo on his neck. Ornelas' friend snapped a picture of the man and he took off. The next day, Ornelas says his sister spotted the man at a car wash and got a picture of his license plate. It all led deputies to Oscar Llanos at an apartment just a few blocks away.

Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said, "Our deputies were able to look him up, find out exactly who he was, where he lived and they showed up to his house and found the car."

Ornelas got his car back but a lot of parts are missing, "He cut a few things here, took the water pump," Ornelas said, "He also took the battery that was here, it was a brand new battery."

The car, he says isn't worth fixing so he's selling what's left of the parts. He says it's sad but at least he caught the suspected thief.

"That's what you get, you know... now he's gonna be locked up," Ornelas said.

Oscar Llanos was arrested on Tuesday. Deputies say he's facing charges for running a chop shop and stealing a car.

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