Police warn of crime increase along famous boulevard

FRESNO, Calif.

Police are hoping to get the message out that criminals jump on any opportunity they can find, especially while many of us are preoccupied with the holiday season. "Making sure that they're not leaving packages in their car when they're coming home, making sure their homes are locked when they go out and do their Christmas shopping," said Fresno Police Sergeant Mark Hudson.

Homes along Huntington are all lit up for Christmas, including Nancy Bullard's. She's lived there for more than 30 years and only now locks up everything.

"All these years I've never done that," Bullard said. "Particularly this last year, when things seemed to be worse. So now, if I leave the house during the day, even in the backyard I lock and take the key with me."

Police said in the last month as many as 8 homes and 10 cars have been broken into. "Backpacks, purses that are left in cars," Sgt. Hudson said. "There's been a laptop that's been reported stolen from a vehicle break in. In homes people are going in after gold or jewelry."

18-year-old Earnest Byrd was arrested. Police said he admitted to breaking into a home along Huntington Blvd, and he may be connected to other cases.

Norma Torres said even thought her car was vandalized a few months ago, she thinks the extra attention is a bit much.

"A crime is not just on the southeast side, not just on Huntington Blvd. It's everywhere," Torres said.

Joggers and walkers in the area were also warned. Some neighbors just worry the vigilance is changing the look of the famous boulevard.

"I guess I've always thought that a friendly house, lights on and everything open, I liked that. You just can't always do it now," Bullard said.

As we get closer to the holiday police are planning more door-to-door notifications in other Fresno neighborhoods.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.