Alarming Robbery Trend in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. Fresno police said they are pleased that crime is down overall citywide, but there is one disturbing trend that they see every year around the holidays, and this year is definitely worse than last year.

The Action News Crimetracker shows a 12% increase in robberies in Fresno this year, and one area is particularly bad.

The increase is southwest Fresno is 32%. The robbery caught in surveillance video at H.K. Jewelry is one of 161 committed in Fresno since the start of November.

The robbers terrorized an entire family, right down to the 1-year-old boy in his mother's arms.

Police are closing in on a suspect who they think pulled off this robbery and possibly an entire cluster at the same shopping center.

"We've been able to identify an individual involved," said Police Chief Jerry Dyer. "We served three search warrants [Tuesday]."

Police are struggling to slow robberies in Southwest Fresno.

The Action News Crimetracker shows a dangerous trend there, with 40 robberies since Nov. 1 -- twice as many as during the same time frame last year.

Detectives are focused on Belmont and just south, where police have their own surveillance in place.

Police arrested Daniel Correa and three juveniles for a string of robberies, and they hope that will erase the trend, one that's especially strong during the holidays.

"There are a lot of reasons for that," said Chief Dyer, "especially this time of year in our area, where a lot of people are out of work."

At H.K. Jewelry, they added an extra layer of security. They created a cage where you have to be buzzed in and if you rob the place, the cage will close.

"What do we do?" asked store owner Mahmood Shahid. "Times are bad right now so I have to do that."

For Shahid, it's an imperfect solution to a frightening problem. And there's one thing the robbers took he'll never get back: his family's sense of security.

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