(Press Release) The Fresno County Sheriff's Office would like to make the public aware of a crime series taking place in Fresno County.
Since April of this year, detectives have seen an increase in daytime burglaries in and around the Sanger, Parlier, and Del Rey areas.
Detectives believe street gang members from different gangs, which normally would not get along with each other, have aligned themselves and are responsible for the break-ins. The motive is strictly for financial gain.
In a majority of the crimes, the suspects will kick in the front door or pry open a window. The suspect(s) then enter the residence, ransack it, and grab as much property as possible in a very short amount of time.
Early on, televisions and other electronics were taken but the focus now seems to be on the guns, jewelry, and cash. Car keys are also taken in order for the suspects to return and steal the victim’s vehicles.
One method the suspects are using is to have one person knock on the front door. If someone answers, they usually ask for someone by name. When they are told that there is no one by that name at the home, the suspect leaves and takes note of the vehicles. Once the resident leaves, the suspects return and burglarize the house.
Another method is for the suspects to arrive at a house, forcibly enter, and do a quick search of the home. If nothing is found, the suspects will target another house in the area and burglarize it.
On more than one occasion, while in the act of the burglary, the suspects call for a larger vehicle to remove large gun safes.
Initially, detectives thought the crews were striking homes in the Sanger, Parlier, and Del Rey areas. However, similar burglaries have now been reported in and around the Cities of Fresno and Kerman.
Several arrests have already been made and more are expected.
Earlier Thursday, detectives served search warrant at the home of 36-year-old David Estrada, located in the 6500 block of S Bethel Avenue. During the service of the warrant, stolen property was discovered from several different burglaries, including a tactical vest from a local law enforcement agency.
Estrada was not at home at the time of service of the search warrant. He was at the Fresno County Courthouse answering charges to a prior arrest related to this same investigation. He was arrested at the courthouse by Court Services deputies on charges of possession of stolen property.
Information obtained after Estrada’s arrest have given detectives further leads which they are currently following up.
Sheriff Mims would like to remind citizens to be aware of, and report any suspicious persons and/or vehicles in their neighborhoods that may fit this crime pattern.
Also, if you feel suspicious or uncomfortable with any person that may come to your home, do not open your door and contact the Sheriff’s Office or your local law enforcement agency.
Anyone with information on this, or any other crime, is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 488-3111, or CrimeStoppers at 498-STOP (7867).