The county and city of Fresno could soon be taking new measures to keep our streets safe.
Monday, Police Chief Jerry Dyer announced a plan that would target the city's top 5 car thieves. Police say the criminals constantly get out of jail due to overcrowding, only to strike again.
It's the latest push to keep chronic thieves off the streets and Chief Dyer wants to do so by buying beds inside the Fresno County Jail.
Combined, the top five car thieves in Fresno have been arrested and released from the Fresno County Jail 19 times so far this year. Tuesday, Chief Jerry Dyer urged Fresno County Supervisors to okay a plan to keep them behind bars.
Chief Dyer says, "The main purpose for us is to get these individuals to quit stealing from people in our community because that's what they're doing day in and day out."
The chief's plan would guarantee the police department five beds inside the county jail. The city would pay $520 a day, or $126,000 for the next nine months, to rent the beds.
The board of supervisors are all on board.
Fresno County Board of Supervisors President Henry Perea says, "This is a quality of life issue. We've created consequences with the most prolific auto thieves in this community."
It's not just about more beds. Chief Dyer says he also wants to focus more on getting these criminals into treatment programs before they are sentenced.
"That is key for us because we know a vast majority of these people are addicted to drugs; primarily methamphetamine," says Chief Dyer.
Fresno resident Craig Duncan says, "I totally agree with it. I definitely don't want them back on the streets just because there's overcrowding."
The decision will ultimately come down to city council members, who will vote whether or not to provide the funding.
District 7 council member Clint Olivier says, "We have to be aware of the financial state of the city but something like this is a high priority and I believe it would be worth it."
The Fresno County Sheriff's Program enacted a similar program a couple of years ago. Three beds were set aside for the county's top thieves and officials say since then, auto thefts have dropped 26%.