Police arrest Fresno's number one car thief

FRESNO, Calif.

It all started around 1:30 Wednesday afternoon when a detective with the Fresno Police Department's Career Criminal Auto Theft Task Force spotted Luna in a stolen Chevy Pickup and followed him to a home in Southeast Fresno.

"We've been looking for Luna for several months. He's very elusive and so it's great we got him in custody and this is why. He doesn't just give up. He runs, he hides," Sgt. Tim Tietjen with the Fresno Police Department said.

When officers approached the house Luna was nowhere to be found.

"He had tried to conceal himself somewhere in the backyard, we couldn't find him," Sgt. Tietjen said.

That is when they sent in a police k-9 and the dog discovered Luna hiding underneath a blanket in a doghouse in the backyard. While Luna was transported to the hospital with an unknown injury police began searching the home and were surprised by what they found next.

"Right behind me there's numerous car parts, engine parts, there's a stolen vehicle in the driveway as well as the one he drove up in," Sgt. Tietjen said. "This is great, I'm ecstatic about this because what this does is it not only do we get the top number one car thief in the city off the streets, but we find two stolens and we find a chop shop. This is going to make an incredible impact on our community," Sgt. Tietjen said.

An incredible impact because police say Luna was stealing between five and eight cars a night. Officers are hoping to keep him in jail by placing him in one of five beds the county recently promised the police department.

"We're looking at phase one those top five beds and getting those five most prolific individuals in a cell immediately," Sgt. Tietjen said.

Authorities say methamphetamine is the driving force behind most thefts.

Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.