Top Auto Thief Arrested... Again! - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Top Auto Thief Arrested... Again!

Updated:
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) - Fresno police arrest the city's most prolific auto thief again, less than a month after officers put him behind bars for running a chop shop.

Officers say they found 34–year–old Donald Dibble behind the wheel of a stolen pickup and took him into custody.

They are now attempting to tie him and others to a major car theft ring that heads straight to Mexico.

Sgt. Tim Tietjen with the Fresno Police Department’s Auto Theft Task Force said, "We know from our experience over the years some of these individuals, over a week’s period of time, can steal up to 20 vehicles. That's substantial, that's not just numbers those are victims."

"Just last month, police arrested Dibble in this home behind me. It's near the corner of Belmont and Roosevelt in downtown Fresno. Inside police say a major chop shop was taking place. Dibble went to jail and when he came out he was back at it again."

Looking through the stolen truck officers found shaved keys, files and a scale.
Tietjen says Dibble admitted he steals to feed his meth habit.

However, officers found something else… belongings and other items connecting 53–year–old Miguel Ramirez of Fresno to crimes.

Investigators say Ramirez is new to the crew but is a man officers believe may be Dibble's connection to Mexico's auto theft ring.

Officers say crooks get stolen vehicles across the border, by chopping them up or simply driving them.

Police say the one they grabbed that day had a DMV temporary registration taped to the window belonging to another car.

The stolen truck also had paper plates making it look like it was recently purchased.

S
SergeantTietjen says keeping these career auto thieves behind bars is vital to keeping the number of cars stolen down.

Fresno is averaging 6 cars stolen every day but that number was 25 to 30 a day before the Auto Theft Task Force was created in 2012.
 
Tietjen says the Fresno Police Department rents 5 beds from the Fresno County Jail and they determine who takes those beds, so the top auto thieves stay in jail, at least until they go to court.
 
Tietjen says he's hoping convicted criminals like Donald Dibble will stay in jail and off the streets where he will steal again.

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