Smash-and-Grab Burglaries Cause Big Damage Fast

FRESNO, Calif.

The burglaries happened one after the other between 11 p.m. last Tuesday and 5:45 a.m. the next day. Police say they have a couple things in common: a pickup truck, and speed.

The entire crime takes up less than 45 seconds on surveillance cameras at Ultimate Computers in Central Fresno. One suspect rams a pickup truck into the front door. Another runs inside and yanks out as many laptop computers as he could get before police responded to the alarms going off.

"I knew it wasn't just a false alarm," said store owner Roman Gonzales. "All my sensors were going off, meaning it was something catastrophic."

Gonzales has watched the burglary play out over and over again on his surveillance footage.

"He comes in and he's grabbing a few laptops right there" he told Action News as he watched it again.

Police investigators say they've also seen the crime play out repeatedly -- but at a few different locations. On the same night burglars hit the computer store, a similar white pickup truck crashed into a motorcycle shop about three miles away, and a beauty salon.

"I was in shock to see all the damage they did," said Alicia Herrera, the salon's owner.

Detectives have used Gonzales' surveillance video to identify the truck as one stolen from a county island near the computer store. But identifying the suspects is proving a little trickier.

One never came in the store. The other used a hooded shirt to hide his face. But police do have a basic suspect description from an employee at the beauty salon. He briefly saw one of the burglars trying to take this television off its mount. When he screamed, the suspects took off, leaving the TV behind.

"They did that much [damage] for nothing," Herrera said.

The victims say damages to their stores could cost them as much as $10,000 to repair. But, they're boarding up and getting back to work.

"We started roughly around 10 years ago, and 45 seconds is not all it's going to take to bring us down," Gonzales said.

Police believe the same burglars committed all three crimes last week. But they say there's more than one team committing these types of burglaries.

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