A man whose vehicle was stolen two weeks ago helped Fresno police catch the suspected thief and take down a chop shop in the Caruthers area Wednesday, police say.
Sgt. Tim Tietjen of the CCATT auto theft team said the victim began monitoring social media after his car was taken from the Fresno City College area. This week, he saw the vehicle’s rims, valued at $2,000 when new, offered for sale on a website.
He contacted detectives, who set up a meeting between the seller and undercover officers at the Denny’s restaurant at Jensen Avenue and Highway 99.
A man identified as Nahum Cuin was taken into custody, Tietjen said. That arrest led to a chop shop near Hayes and Mountain View avenues, where the victim’s stripped vehicle was recovered and Joe Anthony Salcido of Riverdale was arrested.
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Tietjen said the discovery of the chop shop was significant because operators of the illegal businesses have moved out of the city of Fresno and into rural areas of the county to avoid detection.
Auto thefts in the city are down by about 110 vehicles compared to this time last year.