Crime

They tried to steal from a business, but smart phone alert tipped off owner

High-tech beat the Grinch on Christmas Eve in northwest Fresno where police arrested two suspects who were spotted on camera burglarizing a business.

Lt. Joe Gomez said the owner of Ultimate Garages helped lead officers to the crime scene in time to catch the suspects. The business, which recently opened a showroom in the Palm Bluffs area, specializes in outfitting dream garages.

At around 1:33 p.m. Sunday officers were called for reports of a burglary in progress at Ultimate Garages at 317 W. Bedford.

Gomez said the business owner received an alert on her smart phone from her video monitoring system in the shop. The owner was able to see a masked intruder smashing the front glass door of the business. She immediately called police.

Officer Vic Barrios was first on the scene and saw Justin Breitwieser and Soliel Phariss running through a field just south of Ultimate Garages. The suspects were caught a short distance away on Pinedale Avenue.

Gomez said Breitwieser and Phariss had a camouflage backpack which had all the items stolen from the business including wallets, car care products, headlight restoration kits and other items. The backpack also contained a ski mask that Breitwieser allegedly wore while committing the crime, bullets for a handgun, a handgun holster, a large jar of marijuana and a meth pipe.

As the suspects were detained, officers found a loaded .357 magnum revolver underneath a piece of camouflage cloth on a grass parking strip of a nearby home. Gomez said officers discovered that the suspects had the gun in their possession at the crime scene, but when police closed in they attempted to hide the gun.

Breitwieser faces charges including commercial burglary, felon in possession of a firearm, felony probation violation (he is on probation for burglary) and possession of methamphetamine.

Phariss faces charges including commercial burglary and felony probation violation (she is on probation for auto theft). Also, she was arrested on a Madera County fraud warrant.

Larry Valenzuela: 559-441-6084, @larryvalwork

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