Fresno police officer charged in stolen car investigation

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Thursday, February 19, 2015
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Criminal charges have been filed for a crime allegedly committed by a Fresno police officer.

FRESNO, Calif (KFSN) -- Criminal charges have been filed for a crime allegedly committed by a Fresno police officer.

Action News reported about Alfred Campos last year when his fellow officers served a search warrant at his house. It was actually the second time Fresno police investigated him for a crime, but this is the first time he's been charged, and he was arrested Tuesday night.

For the second time in twelve months, an Action News reporter found himself knocking on the door of Alfred Campos' home. For the second time, someone was home, but nobody answered.

Campos served 15 years as a Fresno police officer, but between our last visit and now, he lost his job. An arrest warrant filed this week shows the stolen car investigation that brought ABC30 to his door in 2014 led to criminal charges in 2015.

Fresno police arrested Campos Tuesday night and the warrant details why. It all started when Campos took a stolen pickup truck for repairs and mechanics noticed the vehicle identification number (VIN) was bogus. Officers say Campos knew it was a fake because he checked on it twice using the special access he had as a police officer. Legal analyst Michael Aed says that evidence could really hurt.

"That's a really tough hill for Campos to climb if that can be established," Aed said.

Investigators say Campos denied knowing the truck was stolen, despite the fact that he checked the VIN, and he owns an auto repair shop in Central Fresno. The warrant says he told officers he bought the truck from Brian Cruz. Police arrested Cruz Sunday and he admitted stealing the truck in Virginia. He said Campos knew it was stolen and they were working together to buy and sell stolen vehicles. Cruz is also charged with burglary in another case and Aed says Campos may use that as a defense.

"When you're relying on a witness who has some problems with their credibility, that always becomes a problem," Aed explained. "It always raises suspicion as to whether Brian Cruz is a credible witness."

When police served a warrant and found four pounds of meth at Campos' home in 2006, he was not charged with a crime. This time, he had to post a $25,000 bond to stay free. He's scheduled to enter a plea in court next month.