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GPS helps Fresno Police solve Sprint cell phone store burglaries

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fresno police have arrested three people as part of an investigation into stolen cell phones. Two Fresno Sprint stores have been hit a total of eight times in the past several months.

Police used GPS technology to track down the stolen phones. In the process, they also recovered stolen firearms and evidence of ID theft. The Sprint store at Blackstone and Nees was hit five times. Most of the break-ins happened in the early morning hours of 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. and police said the thieves have been in and out in a matter of seconds. "They're usually taking a river rock or heavy items like a brick and they're throwing it through a glass window at the business. They're running in and getting their hands on whatever they can. It's usually display phones and the display tablets," said Detective Brian Pierce.

Pierce said the cell phones can be tracked through GPS but the tablets have been harder to find. So far, they've served four search warrants and recovered five phones. In addition, they also seized firearms, ammunition, and several ID's. "I think we had 12 driver licenses and social security cards that match. Which to most people would be a little more scary than a cell phone or a shotgun on the street, so to speak," said Pierce.

One of the search warrants in the 4800 block of East Yale Avenue also led detectives to 79 marijuana plants and five pounds of the drug packaged for sale.

Police say two women and one man have been arrested in connection to the stolen phones. Two others were taken into custody on other charges. The suspects aren't being identified because the investigation in ongoing and police hope to make more arrests.

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Tags:
fresno, fresno county, crimetracker, sprint, burglary, fresno police department, local, amanda perez
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