Police make arrest in series of thefts in NW Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno Police have made one arrest in connection with the break-ins at the shopping center at Palm and Nees in northwest Fresno. But they're looking for more thieves.

The trend had even prompted police officers to pass out flyers in this parking lot warning people about the break-ins and how to not be a victim. But, one alert victim whose wallet was stolen helped police solve the case.

This Fresno man does not want to be identified in part because he is afraid for his safety. His wife's car window was smashed in several weeks ago while she was working out at GB3. The thieves got away with cash and several credit cards.

After cancelling the cards, the victim started an investigation of his own.

"There were charges done on the cards and I started phoning around asking where were these charges made to when they were mailing stuff to certain locations and I said you know, I forgot the mailing address for that phone that I just bought for a friend the other night, can you give me that mailing address again."

Within just one hour after the car burglary, credit cards had been swiped 8 to 10 times up and down Blackstone Avenue. Armed with his own research, the victim called officers to report what he had uncovered.

"When I called the Fresno police I said, I've got some items that were ordered on the internet from us, stolen, here's the address, here's the FedEx tracking number, just go get your man."

Investigators say within the past month and a half there have been 10 car break-ins and four more cars stolen from this parking lot.

Most of the victims were working out when their cars were broken into, and most of the break-ins happened at night or early in the morning.

"The problem is these guys are fast. Especially at a gym location."

Police say many of the incidents were recorded on surveillance cameras. Those tapes are helping investigators track down more suspects.

Mike Reid with the Fresno Police Department said, "The city of Fresno has a crime camera up in that area. Some of the businesses have cameras up in that area to not only do interior but exterior. Once we figure out the pattern and the timing we can go back and look at the surveillance tapes and usually get pretty good information from those."

Officers are hoping to make a few more arrests related to the break-ins. The good news is since the initial arrest, there have not been anymore burglaries or thefts in the Palm and Nees shopping center.

Police say this serves as another reminder for people not to leave valuables in their car.

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