Three men were arrested after police found a stolen Cadillac Escalade stripped in the backyard of a southeast Fresno house Thursday, the Fresno Police Department said.
Officers responded near Nevada Avenue and Second Street shortly after 4 p.m. after getting a call about the vehicle in the back of the vacant house.
While detectives were investigating the stolen Cadillac, a Chevrolet Avalanche drove up in the alley behind the house, and a man got out and walked into the backyard, police said. Detectives recognized him as a wanted McKenzie Street Bulldog gang member.
Two others in the Avalanche spotted officers and fled in the vehicle.
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Armando Martinez, 34, was taken into custody, and his involvement with the stolen Cadillac is being investigated, police said.
The Fresno police helicopter followed the fleeing Avalanche to the area of McKenzie Avenue and 11th Street, where the two men were stopped by officers. The driver of the Avalanche, Luis Acosta, 28, was found to have a felony burglary warrant and was arrested, police said. His involvement with the stolen Cadillac is being investigated.
All three men were booked into Fresno County Jail. Marco Lozoya, 21, was booked on felony auto theft and chop shop related charges; Martinez was booked on a felony parole violation warrant; Acosta was booked on a felony burglary warrant.
Anyone with information regarding auto theft in the Fresno area should call Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867.