Fresno police officers who pulled over a freshly painted Honda Civic on Thursday night at Divisadero Street and Van Ness Avenue became suspicious when they spotted cans of black spray paint on the floor. Sgt. Chris Desmond said that their suspicions increased when they took a close look at an obviously bogus vehicle identification number on the dash.
Desmond said that the driver, Francisco Diaz, told officers that he had recently purchased the car for $300. Passenger Nathan Rodriguez said he didn’t know where the car came from. Officers found the true vehicle number after the fake one fell off the dash and learned the once-blue car was stolen in May in southwest Fresno.
Officers also found “shave keys” used to steal cars. Both Diaz and Rodriguez were booked into Fresno County Jail on stolen vehicle charges as well as probation violation.