FRESNO – A few days after Fresno was once again named the auto-theft capitol of the nation, authorities managed to take a few auto thieves off the streets.
Police were able to arrest three suspects over the weekend in two separate incidents. The first happened on Saturday around 6 p.m. when a patrolling officer noticed a car speeding in and out of neighborhoods around the Fresno Fairground. The police department’s helicopter was able to track the car and help lead officers to it.
When officers found the car, it was empty. The driver ditched the car and ran into the fairgrounds, police said. The suspect, identified as 25-year-old Jose Garcia, took off some of his clothes and tried to blend in with people at a private party at the fairgrounds.
“He was eventually identified and detained,” said Sgt. Paul Cervantes, who added that Garcia just didn’t fit in with the rest of the crowd.
Police say Garcia has a long history of auto theft. The car he was driving on Saturday night had been stolen during an armed carjacking the Tuesday before.
In a separate incident the same night, another two suspects were arrested during a Fresno DUI operation in southeast Fresno. An officer attempted to stop a car near Butler and Chestnut avenues that had been stolen earlier in the week from an apartment complex near Fresno State.
The driver and passenger fled the vehicle and attempted to hide, but officers were able to locate them. They took the 17-year-old passenger, who was on probation for felony vehicle theft, into custody. The driver, Bulldog gang member Christopher Rico, 23, was caught hiding under a tarp in somebody’s backyard and taken into custody.
CBS47: Extra Police Patrols Lead to Multiple Auto Theft Arrests