The Highway Loss Data Institute, a group funded by the insurance industry, estimates one out of every 100 Cadillac Escalades will be stolen. The Chevrolet Avalanche comes in at number eight. Clovis Avalanche owner Matt Bukilica said he just got his back last week after it was stolen from the front of his home. "There were scrapes in my street, in front of my house where you could tell something was on the ground, lifted up the truck, and it was gone," said Bukilica. The truck was recovered without its tires and wheels. Apparently, that's all the thieves wanted.
The report from the insurance industry comes as the Fresno Police Department deals with a 21 percent increase in vehicle thefts over last year. Last year at this time, Fresno police had worked about 1,900 auto theft cases. This year, they've worked more than 2,300. Early releases are blamed for part of the increase. Police said one auto theft suspect has been in and out at jail at least eight times. "It could be like the next day. He's been arrested on night and the next morning he's been found in another stolen car. It's been within hours sometimes," said Fresno Police Detective Dennis Zuener.
The thief who stole Matt Bukilica's Avalanche was caught ... but not before he did $4,000 in damage to the vehicle.