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Car Thief Released from Jail

A self-admitted car thief arrested Tuesday morning in Fresno is back on the street. Fresno Sheriff's Deputies say Christopher Lam was in a stolen car right before his arrest. We were there when Lam was arrested and when he was released from jail nine hours later. And he told us, when he was released, the jail gave him back his burglary tools.
A self-admitted car thief arrested Tuesday morning in Fresno is back on the street.

Fresno Sheriff's Deputies say Christopher Lam was in a stolen car right before his arrest.

We were there when Lam was arrested and when he was released from jail nine hours later. And he told us, when he was released, he was given his burglary tools back.

He spoke with us about his short stay in jail and his surprise that the tools he admittedly uses to break into cars were given back to him.

"They gave me back my burglary tools. I got my box cutter, gloves flashlight, knife," self-admitted car thief Christopher Lam told us.

Those are the tools of his trade. The items were on him Tuesday morning when he was arrested in Central Fresno.

He says the burglary tools were handed back to him just a few hours later, when he was released from jail.

"I could go right now and get one of those officers patrol cars if I wanted to go home and trade it for $150," Lam said.

Lam's nine hour stay at the jail comes less than two weeks after Fresno Police announced they were paying for five beds at the jail to keep the city's biggest car thieves locked up. But Lam is not on the city of Fresno's 'Top Five' list. So he doesn't qualify for one of those beds.

"Whether you're number one or you're number five they should have a bed for you. I shouldn't be going home right now," Lam said.

Lam told us he's been arrested four times for auto theft.

He says he had a full time job six months ago making thirty-thousand dollars a year. But that wasn't paying the bills. So he steals cars instead.

"If you were good at it you could easily make the same thirty-thousand I was making working for a living, except I wouldn't have to work," Lam said.

Lam says this arrest is a wake up call - for him and the community.

"I'm glad they're letting people out because it worked in my favor. But I'm not happy for my community and my neighbors and Fresno. Because if you do the crime you should do the time," Lam said.
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Fresno, CA

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