Car Thieves Keep Fresno Police Busy

FRESNO, Calif. Packed parking lots have been a hot target for car thieves this season, especially at Fresno malls. Sandra Reed was shopping last week at Macy's. "A MAC, seminar class learning about makeup. We were having a good time. Then, we came out here." That's when Reed learned- her car was stolen. Earlier in the week criminals stole two cars from Fashion Fair in one day.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer warns ... some shoppers will always be victimized. "We can do our very best to have video cameras present and to make ourselves highly visible. But the truth is if somebody truly wants to steal a car, they're going to be able to. That doesn't mean that they may get away with that crime but they may be able to get away with that car," said Chief Dyer.

Overall car thefts are down slightly in Fresno compared to last year. Of the cars stolen during the holiday season a good portion were ripped off at Fashion Fair and River Park. Crooks also took a few cars from Manchester Center.

According to police 35 cars have been stolen in Northeast Fresno in the past two weeks. Eight were stolen from Fashion Fair. Officers on patrol know it's not unusual for crime to happen in places where large crowds gather.

A rush of cars and a crush of people make major events like the Big Fresno Fair an attractive place for thieves. But sisters and shoppers Rachel and Jenna Reynolds never felt threatened.

Jenna Reynolds said, "We didn't even know about that ... saw a lot of cops on horseback. That was kinda cool."

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