(PRESS RELEASE) On Monday, June 25th, at approximately 11:41 a.m.hours, Fresno PD Career Criminal Auto Theft Team (CCATT) units responded to the area of Polk and Garland for an occupied stolen vehicle which was being monitored by On-Star.
With the assistance of MAGEC units, CCATT was able to locate the vehicle near Clinton and FWY-99. The vehicle was occupied by the driver, Jacob Cooley, and passenger Souriyan “Peter” Phouthavone.
CCATT conducted surveillance on the stolen vehicle as it drove through Fresno and stopped on Meridian Avenue, north of Church Avenue. At that location Cooley exited the vehicle and walked southbound. Phouthavone got into the driver seat and drove to
the 2300 block of S. Jackson, then walked inside a residence.
Detectives detained Cooley as he walked in the area and Pouthavone was detained at the residence. Both Cooley and Pouthavone admitted to knowingly driving and possessing the stolen vehicle. They were each booked into the Fresno County Jail on both charges.
Additionally, they each admitted that while at Pouthavone's residence in the 5300 block of W. Griffith Way; they removed stolen property from the vehicle and left it inside the residence. The stolen vehicle was quickly returned to its owner.
While at the S. Jackson residence, we contacted Jose Lopez Soto, Jr. Soto was on probation for felony domestic assault. During a probation search of Soto's residence, he was found in possession of hypodermic needles, and in violation of the terms of his
probation. He was booked into the Fresno County Jail on both charges.
CCATT detectives authored a search warrant for Phouthavone's residence, on W. Griffith Way. During the service of the search warrant, we located a .380 semi-auto handgun, a 12 Gauge shotgun, and property from the stolen vehicle, inside the residence. At the residence we contacted Jose Munoz. Munoz admitted he has been a
methamphetamine addict for the past 10 years, and was determined to be in possession of two firearms, in violation of two counts of PC 29800(a)(1).
He was booked into the Fresno County Jail on both charges.
Auto theft is more than just a property crime; auto thieves steal cars to support their drug habits, and arm themselves with guns and shotguns to commit other violent crimes. While under the influence of methamphetamine, they can become paranoid and
If you have information about auto theft crimes in Fresno, please call
FPD CCATT at (559) 621-CCAT (2228), and help make your car and community safer.