FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE)- Fresno police are looking for the man they said stole hundreds of dollars in merchandise from a small business Wednesday, then returned Thursday to take more.
The owner recognized the suspect and locked him in the store the second time to detain him, but the alleged thief grabbed a stand, broke through the window, and escaped.
The owner, Herman Nagra, said he hopes someone will recognize this suspect and come forward with information.
“I work 7 days a week, this isn’t what small business owners deserve,” he said.
Nagra said the man stole $300 worth of jerky the first time, then took off but didn’t stay away long.
“Today, right when he walked in I recognized him,” Nagra said.
He said both times the suspect brought bags to fill with merchandise.
This time Nagra immediately hopped on the phone with police and locked the alleged thief inside. Cameras captured the man knocking over a display, before grabbing a sanitizer station and using it to shatter the window and get away on a bicycle.
“The way he acted to get out of the window. I’m pretty sure he’s done much worse crimes. So we need the community’s help. It’s a plea to the community if you’ve seen this person, or you know this person,” he said.
Police said they understand the frustration small business owners feel when something like this happens, but strongly discourage anyone from taking matters into their own hands.
“You don’t know when some of these guys could be armed with guns, weapons, any other blunt object can turn on you, all over a candy bar. It’s not worth it,” Felipe Uribe a Fresno police officer said.
Uribe said the best thing someone in this situation can do is get on the phone with them right away and try to be a good witness.
Nagra said he’d like to see stiffer penalties for criminals, and is hopeful police are able to identify this suspect and make an arrest.
Police believe the suspect may be a transient who frequents the area. He is facing felony vandalism charges.