Action News Crimetracker spots Fresno burglary trend

FRESNO, Calif.

The Action News Crimetracker shows the hardest hit street is Park Ave. near Nevada Ave., where there are only two occupied homes. Those families have reported eight burglaries in the last two months.

Burglars haven't left much behind in one of those homes after breaking in five times in less than two months. Now, family members sleep on the floor and a sheet covers the space where the air conditioner once was. They're too scared to show their faces on camera.

They stole everything," said one of the victims. "Everything except the couches."

But this family is not alone. The Action News Crimetracker shows red pins where burglars have struck in this neighborhood since June. Eight of the pins show up on a single block of Park Ave.

We took a look at that block from the street level. There are only five houses on the block and three of them are unoccupied, so the eight burglaries affected just two families. They are both devastated.

"First time, they came in that way," said Cathleen Cooks, whose house has been the burglars' target four time. "Second time, they came in through that screen."

Cooks says the burglars took everything down to her costume jewelry. She's lost not one, but two TVs.

"I walk in and the television I bought just a week ago to replace the one that was stolen was gone," said Cooks.

She's afraid to buy anything new, thinking the burglars could strike again at any time. Police aren't sure she's wrong, even though they say detectives have solved the case.

"This isn't a case of 'whodunit,'" said Capt. Greg Garner of the southwest policing district in Fresno. "We know who's in the area. We know who are committing residential burglaries. We know the methods they're using, so much so that we can pinpoint where they're going to be."

Two men have been arrested for the burglaries. Police say one of them was coming out of a Park Ave. home he'd just burglarized. But because they're non-violent criminals in an overcrowded jail, the sheriff's office released them within hours.

Police say they're keeping an eye on the area, but neighbors are installing new security doors and boarding up windows to protect the few possessions they have left.

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