Lemoore Police arrest 2 men accused of stealing appliances from new homes

LEMOORE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Lemoore Police were called to a neighborhood early Tuesday morning where new homes are under construction.

Officers got a tip that a suspicious white van was in the community.

They spotted the van and tried to pull it over.

But the driver sped off, leading officers on a short chase.

When the van stopped, officers detained Guillermo Aguilar and Jesus Gonzalez, of Fresno.

Officers saw that the back of the van was filled with what appeared to be new appliances, including stoves, microwaves, and HVAC units.

"So our officers already knew that these types of locations-new home construction builds-have been targeted for burglaries," said Lemoore Police Detective Jonathan Moritz. "And they called the management company to come see if any of that property belonged to them."

Sure enough, an employee saw appliances that were taken from one of their homes that's still under construction.

Later in the day, officers were told that two homes under construction in a different development were also burglarized.

Officers got a warrant, searched the van, and found appliances stolen from both sites on Tuesday morning.

Detectives arrested the pair of thieves, and have also linked them to two other burglaries that happened late last year at one of the same subdivisions.

They say the men would lift the appliances on their own, albeit not very carefully, and load them into an Acura or the white van.

Detectives also suspect the men had inside knowledge.

"We determined that it was a construction-type van full of tools and we believe that these individuals may actually work in construction and that they may be working on these new construction homes somewhere throughout the Valley," Moritz said. "And that may be how they know when and where to break into these houses."

Police in Lemoore believe the men may be behind burglaries at construction sites in other parts of the Valley too.

So they'd like to hear from any other law enforcement agencies who have similar cases.
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