crime

Madi Bolanos / KVPR

Federal agents announced Wednesday that they are now working with local officials in Fresno to mitigate the recent rise in crime. There have been 50 homicides and more than 560 shootings this year. 

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California McGregor W. Scott said he was shocked to learn there’s been a 96% increase in shootings compared to last year. That’s why Scott said he arranged to have federal agents help local law enforcement make arrests and decide where people should be prosecuted. 

Marion County Sheriff's Office in Florida, via FOIA

A year ago, Tulare County native Jose Manuel Martinez was facing 10 life terms in prison before a trial in Florida that could have resulted in the death penalty. But after testimony from his family, painting Martinez as nothing but a loving father, uncle, and brother, he was spared, and given another life sentence. 

Fresno EOC

California is one of the nation’s top states for human trafficking, a complex crime that is difficult to combat. But in the Central Valley, nonprofits are working with law enforcement to tackle the issue from multiple perspectives. Valley Public Radio's Kathleen Schock spoke with Sarah Johnson from the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission and Jessica Pittman from the Central Valley Justice Coalition about the work taking place to end this widespread problem.

Wikimedia Commons

Police in Kings County are tracking down the suspects believed to have been involved in stealing $50,000 worth of inventory from a Lemoore factory.

The goods are cheese: Mozzarella, to be exact, stolen from Leprino foods, one of the world’s largest mozzarella producers. “Their cheese is usually in the forms of 6-pound loafs, blocks, or also shredded cheese that comes in bags,” says Lemoore Detective Osvaldo Maldonado.

Fresno County Sheriff's Office Facebook page

A Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputy is in surgery after being shot in the Fresno County foothills. The suspect is in custody.

At around 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning, 49-year-old deputy John Erickson had responded to a call of shots fired in the Tollhouse area, said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “When deputies arrived on scene, they started taking fire from what they described as rifle shots,” she said. “I couldn’t even count how many hit the windshield and side of that pickup.”

Kerry Klein / Valley Public Radio

The frenetic energy of William Harder’s life is palpable before you even enter his home—with his dogs, their little heads crowding the front window to shout at visitors. Inside, Harder himself joins in, singing “Oh no!” in harmony with their excited cries.

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department Facebook

Two murders were allegedly committed by immigrants in the San Joaquin Valley last December, and some county sheriffs are blaming California's "sanctuary state" law for the crimes.

The day after Christmas in Stanislaus County, Newman City police officer Ronil Singh was shot and killed after pulling someone over who was suspected of drunken driving. The murder was followed by a manhunt to find the shooter. The suspect, Gustavo Perez Arriaga, was later arrested in Kern County. Arriaga was in the country illegally, and had two previous DUIs.

Kern County Sheriff's Office

More details have emerged in a Bakersfield shooting spree on Wednesday that left six people dead, including the alleged killer. 

The Kern County Sheriff’s office has released the names of the suspect and victims in Wednesday’s shooting. Sheriff Donny Youngblood says there’s reason to believe the suspect, 54-year-old Javier Casarez, had a connection to many, if not all of the victims.

Six people are dead, including the shooter, after a mass shooting in Bakersfield on Wednesday evening. The spree spanned five crime scenes in East Bakersfield.

According to the Kern County Sheriff’s office, the 35-minute ordeal began near a trucking business close to Highway 58 and State Route 184. There, the suspect allegedly shot and killed two people, including his wife, then pursued another person down the street and killed him near a neighboring sporting goods store.

Mims Tells Trump She Wants To Cooperate With ICE

May 16, 2018
Fresno County Sheriff's Office

Local law enforcement and elected officials met with President Donald Trump today in Washington D.C. They discussed California’s sanctuary state policies and how they’ve impacted communities. As Valley Public Radio’s Monica Velez reports, one county sheriff thought the meeting was productive.

Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said she wants to see Fresno County say “we don’t agree with SB-54,” which restricts when state law enforcement can interact with U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities. She said they discussed strategies to have full disclosures with ICE.

Courtesy of the Sun-Gazette

The arrest of the man suspected of being the Golden State Killer shocked the nation last week. 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo is accused of being behind a string of murders, rapes and robberies that have been attributed to a suspect also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker.

Tulare County Sheriff's Office

Today marks the final day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Across the United States, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner. Here in the San Joaquin Valley, law enforcement agencies receive 15-20,000 reports of domestic violence each year.

In an effort to reduce these crimes in Tulare County, the sheriff’s office earlier this month announced a new strategy for fighting domestic violence—one they hope will aid not just in responding to reported crimes, but also in preventing future ones.

Kerry Klein / KVPR

A few weeks ago, the Fresno Police Department busted a sex trafficking ring among the Bulldog Gang—unfortunately, only the latest of many sex trafficking cases uncovered recently in the Valley. This kind of crime is likely what comes to mind when you think of human trafficking—but another kind of trafficking also occurs in the Valley, sometimes in plain sight, and law enforcement officials worry it’s more common than anyone knows.

Fresno Police

Details have begun to emerge about the three men who were shot and killed yesterday in downtown Fresno.

Mark Gassett was shot in the back as he walked home from Catholic Charities with groceries. The 39-year-old died on the scene. He had two children. Fifty-eight-year-old David Martin Jackson was shot outside the Catholic Charities office and died later at the hospital. 

Fresno PD

Fresno police say the man suspected of going on a murder spree Tuesday morning is cooperating with their investigation. Kori Ali Muhammad has walked police step-by-step through the process of how he killed three people and is showing no remorse for his crimes.

Chief Jerry Dyer on Wednesday explained to members of the media a second-by-second breakdown of the rampage that left three men dead, including playing recordings of the gunshots captured on police tracking equipment.

Jeffrey Hess / Valley Public Radio

Three people in downtown Fresno are dead in an apparent murder spree Tuesday morning.

The suspect is 39-year old Kori Ali Muhammad. He was already wanted for the murder of a security guard at a Motel 6 on Blackstone Avenue in Fresno last week.

Shortly before 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, Muhammad allegedly shot and killed a PG&E worker in his company truck near Van Ness north of Divisadero. A co-worker driving the vehicle was not shot and rushed the victim to the police headquarters where he died.

It’s been over two years now since California voters approved Proposition 47, a measure which categorized many drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. It's led to a reduction in the state's prison population. But it's also led to other issues, like the many former felons who are now out of jail, but lacking support services to transition to freedom. That's the key finding from a new investigative report called Freed But Forgotten.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For the first time in nearly a decade, Fresno is not one of the top ten cities in the nation for auto theft. 

The study released this month from the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows that at least when compared with other cities, Fresno is faring better when it comes to vehicle theft. As recently as 2011, Fresno led the nation in stolen cars. Last year it dropped to number nine, and this year all the way to 13.

Courtesy Fresno Police Department

Dr. William Dominic was riding his bicycle home from work in late February when a car struck him and drove off. Dominic was severely injured and as of Wednesday was still being treated in the hospital.

Fresno Police Department

Fresno police say a local auto shop is connected with at least eight cases of identity theft. On Tuesday officers served a search warrant at Monkey Wrench Tire and Wheel on Clovis Avenue and found evidence of credit card fraud. Lorenzo Lopez Jr. has been charged with seven felony counts of identity theft in connection with the case. Police allege that Lopez used personal information of customers to establish credit and make fraudulent purchases. Police say others customers of the shop may also have been victims, and urge them to call police at 621-6320.

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