Man accused of breaking into 17 Fresno Co. businesses, including 11 H&R Block locations; stealing tax info, cash

Clovis police say the alleged crime spree is unique, especially so many in succession.
CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Clovis police arrested 32-year-old Emilio Sanchez-Lopez after they say he broke into and stole from 17 businesses, 11 of those H&R Block locations across two cities.

They say his alleged crime spree is unique, especially so many in succession.

Detectives arrested Sanchez-Lopez leaving the scene of one crime Thursday when they were notified of a car near the H&R Block along Cedar Avenue in Fresno.

During a traffic stop, investigators found stolen property inside the car.

Detectives later served a search warrant at the suspect's home on Dakota, where they found several personal tax records, electronics, and thousands of dollars in cash.

Investigators say the burglaries started February 1st, involving half a dozen other businesses in both Fresno and Clovis as well.

The two police departments teamed up for the investigation and noticed a similar pattern that would lead to the suspect.

"It was the date, the times, obviously the locations, they're all H&R Block. How he was getting in, the property he was taking, it was all similar. It's concerning for those who have had info stolen," says Clovis Police Sgt. Jim Munro.

H&R Block sent Action News a statement, saying the company "takes the responsibility for our client's information very seriously" and it "will work directly with the impacted clients to help address this situation."

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office says mail break-ins and identity theft are a problem year-round.

"Make a report with law enforcement or some other agencies. You just want to make sure you're ahead of the curve, because identify theft can spiral," says Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office

He recommends not leaving personal information in cars, utilizing free credit score checks, and taking action if you think your information has been stolen.

Lopez-Sanchez was booked into the Fresno County jail on several burglary and identity theft charges.
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