Thieves targeting Northeast Fresno hotels

FRESNO, Calif.

Paso Robles traveler Andrew Betancourt says he doesn't feel "secure." Fresno hasn't treated him so well. He and his co-workers have been living in and out of the hotels off Fresno Street and Herndon Avenue for the past six weeks while they take a job training course.

Betancourt said, "For the most part I keep everything in my room now, even at that, it's hidden as well, just kind of uneasy I notice myself coming out and looking at my car more so, making sure it's locked and double checking and things like that."

He started double checking after one of his co-workers was targeted. "She was checking out so she was loading up, and then went it to have breakfast, just the little short time she was in there someone took all her luggage."

In seconds, all of her belongings were gone. What happened to her, and to other out-of-towers, was discussed at Fresno Police headquarters during a monthly crime meeting on Wednesday.

Chief Jerry Dyer said, "We don't want to see anyone victimized in our community whether you live here or you're visiting here."

While overall crime is down throughout the city, there was a slight spike in car break-ins near Fresno and Herndon.

Police say thieves are always looking for an opportunity. "It's especially concerning when we have people come to our city, stay in a hotel, perhaps they're not aware of the thefts occurring in the area, and they leave valuables in plain view in their car and then they get victimized, which ruins their vacation," explained Chief Dyer.

For now, police are on the lookout, watching that area carefully and working with citizens on patrol to help educate tourists.

Andrew says he's working with his team of travelers to make sure no one else leaves anything in their cars.

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