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Thieves are going after smog shops in Northwest Fresno

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A string of auto shop burglaries is causing concern in Northwest Fresno. Several smog shops are being targeted and thieves are getting away with thousands of dollars in expensive equipment.

The door was kicked open on one business and $20,000.00 in specialized tools was taken. It's the latest in several auto shop heists.

The video shows the suspects rushing around California Smog Repair earlier this month. They are stealing diagnostic machines used for smog checks and auto repairs. Surveillance video shows the two loading up a trash can full of equipment before they drove away in a white pickup. But, they made one mistake the owner of the business hopes will help lead police to the suspects.

Perry Dehlan said, "You can't recognize their faces but they were stupid enough to go outside, load the stuff and come back without the masks on for their last run into the shop."

Dehlan says the thieves took the four most expensive machines at his business. They kicked down a back door to get inside, the same way Warren Parr says thieves made their way into Complete Car Care earlier this week.

Parr said, "The alarm went off at 4:39 a.m. Monday morning."

In a few minutes, many of the same diagnostic tools were taken from his auto repair business. Each machine costs at least several thousand. But, in order to keep them running, they require subscriptions from the manufacturer.

"When these subscriptions run out, these scanners will no longer be useable," said Parr. "They won't be able to be repaired, they won't be updated, any of those things. So if you are going to buy any of my tools, beware."

In the meantime, auto shop employees are trying to track down the stolen items on websites like Craigslist and eBay.

Both shops have alarms and surveillance cameras, and not even that was enough to stop the thieves from targeting the specialized businesses.

One of the suspects in the video is wearing shorts and has tattoos on his legs.

Police are working to enhance the video to identify the two. So far no arrests have been made.

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Tags:
crimetracker, theft, burglary, fresno northwest, fresno, fresno county, local, sontaya rose
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