Fresno police say an observant neighbor may have stopped a suspect's next burglary

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno police are crediting vigilant neighbors for stopping a burglar in his tracks. Officers say Michael Johnson was casing Northeast Fresno, waiting for an opportunity. They say he didn't expect his chances to be ruined by homeowners.

Police also want homeowners to be forewarned. They say thieves are targeting North Fresno and officers say there's a reason for it.

At first glance, a Chevrolet Suburban might not look out of place. But to someone who lives in this neighborhood it wasn't familiar, and something didn't look right.

Lieutenant Don Gross said, "This vehicle pulled up, never seen it before, the driver sitting in and stays there like he's watching and no doubt that's what the suspect was doing, waiting for someone to leave, for a garage door to be left open."

Officers intervened just in time. When they tried to question him they say Johnson tried to run, dropping a loaded gun in the process. But the story doesn't end there. They say the past few weeks work was stuffed in the suburban's trunk. Odd things, like an oxygen tank, a remote controlled helicopter and electronics, other things you'd find in your garage.

Lieutenant Don Gross said, "In the north end there's a lot of nice vehicles, a lot of nice homes, for vehicle and home burglars they're shopping where they're not going to be interrupted if everyone is at work in a neighborhood then that's where these individuals will come."

Police suggests homeowners keep their doors locked, and keep garage remotes inside the house, and don't leave belongings in the car. It's something Linda Sauceda routinely practices. She saw the suburban being towed, saw the cop car, and thought someone was having car problems.

Sauceda tells us, she's not surprised a watchful neighbor tipped off police. "Thank goodness I'm glad we all watch. We all know each other, we all have numbers, we watch each other and if there's strange people pulling up we watch, I've been watching this house across the street."

Because she says, you just never know who is up to no good. Police say the suspect faces a host of charges including being a felon in possession of a firearm. They're asking people to call police if the items in the picture are recognizable as they're still looking for burglary victims.

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