Burglars busted, run from police, crash into house

FRESNO, Calif.

The chases came to a crashing end at a home near Hamilton and Helm in Southeast Fresno.

The damage is pretty obvious there. The suspects drove right into a house, jumped out of a stolen pickup truck, and ran away. But the damage was really just beginning and one woman's psyche was the next target.

A run from the police ended with a ride in an ambulance and a lot of pain for two burglary suspects. Their wild ride started about a half mile away. A Fresno police officer spotted a suspicious open gate at this home, and then an open window. As he gathered backup, the suspects shot out of the garage in a stolen pickup truck. Police lost sight of the truck, but one officer soon picked up the trail.

"As he was searching the area he felt they'd gone into, he observed the crash and he did see them run from the vehicle," said Sgt. Andy Mercado of the southeast policing district.

The suspects split up. One of them ran down Hamilton, and broke into another home, where he found a woman alone. She was too scared to talk on camera, but she told Action News her uncle was trying to call her just as the man held a hammer to her.

"He wouldn't let me answer [my phone]," she said. "He wouldn't let me open my door because cops were already out here and he just held me in my house. I was really, really, really scared."

Her pit bull eventually scared the man away and police caught him, but the woman was still crying about an hour later, when police dogs led officers to the other suspect hiding in a nearby orchard.

There was no damage to her home, but back at the house where the car chase ended, the truck parked halfway into the dining room.

The homeowner said he never saw anyone, and he thought he heard breaking glass, only to find his house coming apart. He had a few parting words for the guys who did it.

"I hope he enjoyed his dog bites because I heard police got him with the dog," said Joel Long.

Long is actually an insurance auditor, so he had adjusters out here pretty quickly Wednesday morning and he thinks he's covered for all the repairs.

The suspects are now booked in the Fresno County jail on burglary, auto theft and other charges.

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