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Marathoner Fresno police officer outruns serial burglar

Thursday, December 12, 2013

If you're running from the cops, it's probably best not to run from an officer who happens to be a marathoner. Fresno police say one man learned that lesson the hard way and they believe he's connected to dozens of break-ins in Northeast Fresno.

Surveillance cameras caught the 33 year old thief in multiple places around Northeast Fresno. At Wassabi Sushi on Herndon he threw a rock, crawled through a small space and went straight for the cash register.

Manager Edward Kim said, "I think he knew what he was doing, calm, taking his time - went out the windows, never got caught."

Police say the suspect is Michael David Buchanan. They believe he's responsible for more than 20 break-ins in Northeast Fresno, but court records show of that crime spree they've only been able to charge him with 7 burglaries.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said, "We are already seeing, since he went to jail December 5th the numbers dramatically reduced in terms of commercial burglaries."

Prosecutors connected him to break-ins at a Port O'Subs, a Kaiser office and a cell phone store. His crime spree could have continued, but unfortunately for Michael Buchanan, detective Montoya was on duty when he was caught.

When he's off duty, detective Montoya happens to run marathons and ultra-marathons in his spare time. He finished Boston in under three hours.

The Chief said, "It's ironic that this guy chose to have Rudy Montoya chase him- he wasn't going to get away."

Buchanan's new home is the Fresno County Jail, where he's occupying one of the five beds dedicated to Fresno police.

As for Wassabi restaurant, well, they say he only took $5.00, but the headache they got in repairs, was worth a lot more than that chump change. The manager says, they're doing things a little differently now. "We have no money in the drawer now. Not even $5.00? Not even $5.00. (laughing)."

Buchanan is actually accused in a number of other cases, and he's got a rap sheet dating back to 1999. He's due in court on Friday.

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Tags:
burglary, crimetracker, fresno, fresno county, local, stephanie stone
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