Saturday , May 25 2024

Fresno Police Notice 30-Percent Increase in Robberies from This Time Last Year

A disturbing trend is hitting Fresno. The Police Department said more and more robberies are occurring. Chief Jerry Dyer said in a press conference on Sunday that at this time last year, there were 293 robberies, and as of now, there are 380 robberies in the City of Fresno. That is a 29.7-percent increase. Dyer also said that in the last 14 days, there have been 64 robberies in the city, including both person and commercial.
 
Dyer said 29-year old Rachel Castillo, 35-year old Elisha Resendez, 38-year old Kenneth Doland, and 59-year old Robert Spence are four suspected robbers accused of causing a majority of the commercial burglaries in the month of May.
 
Dyer said a meth addiction was one common denominator between these four.
 
"Quite frankly, we see that the vast of majorities of our robberies in our community are as a result of people involved in drugs," said Dyer. "We have truly been overwhelmed with robberies in our city this year."
 
Police said Castillo and Resendez robbed three liquor stores in two days, using a replica firearm. They got away with $ 1,200 before finally being arrested. Doland is accused of robbing two Subways, a Deli Delicious, and a liquor store, also with a replica gun. Police say Doland is a sex offender, and a gang member. He too, according to police, got away with $ 1,200.
 
Spence, Dyer said, is responsible for the recent string of bank robberies in Fresno. Police said he got away with $ 9,605 collectively from five different banks. When he was arrested on Friday at the Days Inn near Jensen Avenue and Highway 99, Dyer said, "He made the spontaneous statement, ‘Don’t worry about it. I’m going away for a long time.’"
 
Dyer said the money that Spence allegedly stole has not been recovered by detectives.
 
"Generally bank robberies are very unique to occur in any city, but in this case, we had five of them during the month of May committed by this one individual," said Dyer.
 
Spence was just released from prison early this month, after serving time for bank robbery. Spence allegedly confessed to police that he committed all five of the bank robberies, and he had been on a meth binge for the past nine days.
 
Dyer said there needs to be a change in the criminal justice system.
 
"As long as we have realignment and Prop 47, both of those which have seriously impacted our ability to hold people accountable in our community that are addicted to drugs, we’re gonna have the potential to continue to see these types of crime trends," said Dyer.
 
All four suspects face felony robbery charges.

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