Thieves target fire-ravaged Mojica Market in Southeast Fresno

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The cleanup at Mojica Market in Southeast Fresno continues about a week after a suspected arson fire burned through the back of the shop. (KFSN)

A Southeast Fresno business owner is angry that his shop keeps getting ripped off -- just a week after a suspicious fire burned down most of the place.
The cleanup at Mojica Market in Southeast Fresno continues about a week after a suspected arson fire burned through the back of the shop. The damage is extensive, the product is destroyed, and the air inside the store is still heavy with particles left over from the fire.

Claudia Ibanez helps run the wholesale candy and party supply store. She says when she arrived to work Wednesday morning, her boss' forklift was gone. It's an expensive vehicle, not to mention a key piece in their cleanup effort.

"We can't carry a bin on our own," said Ibanez. "The forklift was taking it out easily for us, dumping it in there. Now we have to find a way to slowly dump everything in there, where the forklift would just dump the whole thing."

Not only is the fire that caused this damage suspicious, but Ibanez gave Action News photos she says of their delivery van after it was broken into. The undamaged product in it was stolen two days ago.

"It's like the little money he has left to keep investing and come back up, it's like they keep pulling him down," said Ibanez.

Several other items were also stolen from inside the damaged building. Ibanez thinks crooks got in through the holes in the roof. She and her boss are now fearing for their own safety.

"He just thinks that there's somebody out there watching us, our every move, waiting for us to go home, seeing what time we're getting here, just finding the right opportunity to just come in here and take whatever else is left," said Ibanez.

They're angry they keep falling victim, and at the very least want the missing forklift back. "If anybody has any information on the forklift, if anybody saw it, he's willing to give up to a $1,000 reward to get it back," said Ibanez.

The owner hasn't decided whether he'll stay in this location or leave Fresno altogether. It'll take some work, but this crew says it will bounce back somehow. "We just have to thank God that we're still alive, and we can still keep working hard to get back up and get back on our feet," said Ibanez.
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crimetrackertheftfirebuilding firearsonarson investigationfresnoFresno - Southeast
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