Thieves target an east central Fresno apartment complex to make some quick cash

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- They were moments captured last Tuesday night on surveillance cameras.

With bolt cutters in hand, people are seen trying to pry open washers at the Capri Nuevo Apartments in Central Fresno.

They decide to focus their efforts on one washer. After struggling for about three minutes, they finally break the lock.

"When they removed the cover, they discovered there was another box in there," says apartment manager Renee Griffith.

They try to get to the box but eventually give up. The thieves leave behind the money and several dollars worth of damages.

This is the most recent theft attempt at the complex's laundry room.

Griffith says this has been an ongoing issue for years but believes it's always different thieves, and that's what makes it so frustrating.

Last year, she had about a dozen break-ins. She's already at two as we're two months into 2020.

The first happened in January, with a man wearing a red shirt tried getting into the machines. Only a few seconds were captured.
"He pried the door open with a screwdriver and he came in straight for the box, he pulled it off here and yanked the camera line out," Griffith said.

In the two most recent thefts, the burglars were not successful, but they have been in the past. Griffith says each machine can hold up $200.

"We're not making a fortune, but it pays for the water and the electricity, just to run the laundry room," Griffith said.

Every time, she's left with damages to fix.

According to Griffith, the absence of a gate and being next to Highway 168 makes them an easier target.

To deter thieves, she's added surveillance cameras, padlocks and a more secure door.

Griffith says she has considered replacing their coin-operated washers and dryers with card-operated ones, but it would be very costly.

If anyone recognizes any of the three men in the videos, they are encouraged to call the Fresno Police Department.
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