Local

Fresno police bust two chop shops in Pinedale

Friday, October 12, 2012

Police have recovered a youth football team's stolen equipment, several stolen cars and a trailer with thousands of dollars' worth of merchandise. All of this was found at two nearby crime scenes.

A mother and daughter who recently went into business together noticed their trailer was stolen Thursday morning. So they drove around looking for it. They didn't know what they eventually found would help police solve several crimes.

Helmets, pads and uniforms can now be returned to the Clovis West Youth Football team. The items were stolen back in August and recovered in the backyard of this home Thursday.

"We got some bags back and pads back. We'll be doing some cleaning, because they buried it underground apparently," said Julian Bailey.

He said the equipment was inside his trailer, which was stolen just down the street from this home.

"I was really excited, you know. A lot of the equipment is missing and damaged," Bailey said. "Just to have it back is a relief."

As bailey takes the gear back to his team, he can thank a mother-daughter duo. They tracked down their stolen trailer to the same home.

"They were loading my boxes," said Tiffany Carter of Fresno. "I was able to identify the boxes I had my stuff in."

Tiffany and her mom, Lynn Carter, reported their discovery to police who were in the middle of busting a chop shop operation down the street.

"I'm very thankful that we were able to find it, and be so blessed to find it. And be able to recover the majority of our merchandise," Lynn said.

Police said the Carters' trailer was emptied. All of the handmade and other items inside were set up to be sold by the suspects.

"I've been trying to do my own business," Lynn said. "And this was my savings that I put into this, into doing vendor fairs, into doing something that I love. And that trailer had all of that in it, that I've been putting into it the last 9 months."

Police officers helped as Lynn and Tiffany loaded up what was left of their belongings. Their trailer is badly damaged, as the doors were broken open and graffiti tagged on the outside.

Fresno Police officers arrested at least 5 people, two of which are gang members who were already on parole for stealing cars.

Both the football team and the carters are now out thousands of dollars because of the thefts.

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Tags:
crimetracker, pinedale, fresno, fresno county, local, rick montanez
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