It's been a busy few days for the Fresno Police Department's auto theft team. Officers have busted about 17 suspects and will return over a dozen cars back to their owners. Wendesday alone, eight suspects were taken off the street.
Police say there's been a spike in stolen cars in the last two weeks, especially in southeast Fresno. Officers focused their efforts and so far have taken down a crew of Bulldog gang members.
Sitting on the curb, handcuffed, is suspect Rueben Molano. Police say he was driving a stolen car, trying to get away from police, when he threw it in reverse and rammed a patrol car. He and a woman tried to run away but were caught. One other suspect got away.
While that incident was happening at Barton and Mono, other officers with the Career Criminal Auto Theft Team caught two more suspects on Clinton and Fine. Police say they're all part of the same gang.
"We were able to tie the crew we just arrested right now to 15 to 20 cars in the last few days," said Sgt. Tim Tietjen, supervisor of CCATT.
Tu Her came out to the scene to get his car back. He said it was stolen from his driveway sometime last night. Although there is some damage, and he's a bit creeped out that thieves used his car as a weapon, Her is glad to have it back.
"I drive my car to work every single day and good thing I was off today," said Her.
Residents were shaken up by all the commotion Wednesday afternoon, but police say they can rest easier tonight knowing how many suspects are now off the streets.