Fresno County deputies catch thieves stealing from funeral guests

Alfonso Gutierrez
Alfonso Gutierrez Fresno County Sheriff’s Office

Two men were arrested Tuesday after they broke into a car and stole cash at St. Peters Cemetery in Fresno while the owners were attending a funeral service only a few feet away.

Marcos Bakle, 39, and Alfonso Gutierrez, 27, were arrested at the corner of Belmont and Brawley avenues after a tip by a good Samaritan, who took a picture with his cellphone of the two thieves as they sped away from the cemetery at 264 N. Blythe Ave.

Deputies discovered a punch device inside the suspects’ vehicle, which was used to pop open locks in cars without creating a visible sign that the car had been burglarized. Bakle and Gutierrez used this tool to open one vehicle, remove a purse, drive off and come back minutes later to place the purse without its cash back in the vehicle, all undetected, the sheriff’s office said. Before they were able to break into another car, Bakle and Gutierrez fled.

Deputies are working to discover if the suspects who burglarized the cemetery are connected to another burglary on Oct. 15 at Fresno Memorial Gardens in which the vehicle was similarly broken into using a device to open the locks on cars.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 559-600-3111 or call Crime Stoppers at 498-STOP.

Megan Ginise: 559-441-6614