Five reasons why car theft is down in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

Chief Jerry Dyer says they haven't seen numbers this low since 2009. "We're seeing a remarkable difference in terms of auto theft rates in our city in a short period of time."

They've pinned that "remarkable" decrease in stolen cars on five people, and on the five beds they're using at the Fresno County Jail.

Over the past few months, the Chief realized something had to be done in his city as the number of cars stolen per day was increasing to uncomfortably high numbers. So the Chief decided to rent some rooms. "We've seen a dramatic reduction in auto theft, primarily in the last 14 days, since we've opened those 5 beds at the jail."

There's numbers to back up that statement. City wide 15 cars were being stolen a day, then nine and now, just within the last 3 days, just 5 cars are being stolen a day.

You might ask how five people can make such a difference in the numbers? All are among the city's top ten most wanted thieves.

Raymond Luna was recently arrested after being found in a stolen car. It took a police k9 to track him down.

Nathaniel Reyes, was also arrested. He's known as "Jammer" on the streets because he's always wanted, and always manages to get away. Our cameras were there when police caught up to him.

ABC30 asked, "You are a bed holder now, you are going to be there for a while, how do you feel?"

"I don't think so," replied Reyes.

That sort of perspective is what the Chief is hoping to change. Reyes is now occupying one of those five jail beds specifically dedicated to car thieves. "The message that was being sent was that there was no consequences that you could be arrested and released in the same day- no longer, we have a bed for them."

As for cost, it's coming out of the general fund and it's money that's already within the police department's budget. Those five beds were negotiated in a contract with the county which means this agreement will likely be around for a while.

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