Staggering rise in vehicle break-ins and burglaries in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Caught on surveillance, a woman walks into a liquor store in Southeast Fresno, for just a few minutes. And just as quickly, a suspect rolls up on his bike, smashes her window and steals her phone.

"I'm a single parent. And it's hard for me to go through all this on top of all my other problems. And I had to fork up the money while he's out there running around."

And while the suspect in this case was arrested, the victim who didn't want to be identified still has to pay for a new phone and a smashed window. She's just like another victim who got her car stolen while shopping at a Southeast Fresno Walmart. She went inside for just twenty minutes when it was taken from the parking lot.

"You're not paying attention. You know you don't see what's going on. So I'm just going to stay away from that area for now."

But these criminals are equal opportunity offenders who don't discriminate based on area. Every policing district has seen an increase in break-ins compared to this time last year. The highest increase is in Northeast Fresno. Police believe it's a direct effect of Prop 47, which reduced non serious and non violent property and drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

Sgt. Mark Hudson with the Fresno Police Department said, "We're seeing an effect from Prop 47 once that was passed that these people are trying to feed their habit their addiction to narcotics and breaking into homes and breaking into cars."

There are ways to avoid becoming a victim according to police. Making sure you take everything out of your car and out of plain sight is the first step. Make sure you always lock your doors and leave your car in a well-lit area.

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