FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno police say they are seeing a significant increase in car break-ins at both shopping centers and in residential areas.
In one case, a suspect rode a bike and got away with several expensive tools. He even managed to balance a generator on the handlebars. During five different trips surveillance video shows the unidentified suspect going up to a home near Alta and Third in southeast Fresno. Each time he takes various tools-- cement finishers, drills, and equipment valued at $4,000.
The Sanchez family woke up Sunday morning to discover all of Enrique's work tools were gone. His work truck is too long to fit in the driveway so they weren't able to close the security gate. But, six months ago, Enrique and his wife, Laura, invested in a camera above the driveway. While they slept it was rolling when the crime begins on Sunday at 4:30 a.m. "All the times that he came by and he didn't even notice at all. Because if he knew that we had a camera, he wouldn't think of doing the things that he did. We're happy because we got evidence," said Laura Murillo, victim.
Fresno police say this crime represents a growing trend in the city. Vehicle burglaries are on the rise even before the expected time around the holiday season. In the latest case, detectives believe the suspect hid the stolen tools in the neighborhood to come and collect later. "He stashes them, probably close by, because he takes so many tools out of the truck that we know that he didn't get away with them-- so he probably came back later at some point," explained Sgt. Mark Hudson, Fresno Police Department.
The thief went through a lot of effort for both expensive and cheap items. He even took sweatshirts and hats, but he spent much of his effort hauling off a generator on his handlebars.
Detectives believe the suspect may live in the southeast Fresno neighborhood where this happened. In the meantime, the Sanchez family is trying to replace the tools that Enrique needs to have to do his cement work.
Car break-in leaves one Fresno man out thousands of dollars in tools