ABC30 Skycam gets video of smash-and-grab burglar

FRESNO, Calif.

The crook made a beeline for the jewelry case, smashed a curved glass window, and took nearly everything. But there are a couple things he may not have counted on that could get him caught.

In the middle of a dark and empty Old Town Clovis street, a shady figure appears in this ABC30 Skycam video just after 4 a.m. Monday. The man lingers in front of Fifth Street Antiques, before smashing his way inside, then clearing out with a briefcase in his hand just minutes later.

"They pushed through the front and then broke the door right off," said Wanda Leon.

Leon found a splintered door, a pile of glass and an empty jewelry case when she got to her store.

"It's devastating when you're a small business," she said. "It's hard enough to make it in the world as it is, especially with the economy being the way it is right now, and so a hit like that really hurts a lot."

The smash-and-grab burglar apparently didn't touch any other items, but got away with about $100,000 worth of jewelry. And Fifth Street Antiques isn't the only shop in Old Town Clovis to get hit. Someone burglarized another store a couple months ago, and its owners say there seems to be a pattern.

"Around 4 in the morning seems to be their time," said Susan Freitas. "And using items, they don't bring anything, using whatever's available to them in the area, like the stepping stone."

Police say they recovered some jewelry from the previous burglary, but not all of it. They collected evidence from the new crime scene. But our camera wasn't the only one to catch images of the perpetrator. We got him outside on Pollasky, but once he came inside, another surveillance camera also caught images.

An arrest would comfort business owners in Old Town. Some say they suddenly have an uncomfortable feeling about the area, very much in contrast with the way they remember it in years past.

"Nothing," said Freitas. "Very safe. Quiet. Nice. You could walk around with your family and be safe."

Clovis police say there have been a total five burglaries in Old Town Clovis over the last two months. They're investigating whether the man you saw in our video is responsible for more than one of those crimes.

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