An attempted home invasion in northwest Fresno matches the description of a group that a security expert has been tracking for three years and he says is responsible for 20 crimes in the area.
On Saturday night, between three and four men snuck into Ronald Gee’s backyard along the San Joaquin River, near the former Fig Garden Golf Club.
He and his wife were in the backyard only minutes before security footage showed three men wearing masks sneaking toward the house.
“I’m quite sure they were getting ready to invade my home,” Gee said.
Group Broke in Late Evening
After Gee fell asleep, he said his wife woke him up to tell him there was someone in their driveway. Gee grabbed a gun and ran outside to see one person running from the driveway across the street back down toward the river. Knowing not to fire at someone unless threatened, Gee did not pursue or shoot at the person.
Security camera footage showed three men wearing masks, gloves, and fanny packs in the backyard at 9:39 p.m. Gee said he and his wife had been in the back patio smoking a cigarette at 9:30 p.m., only minutes before the three men were. He thinks there were four men in total.
“I’d put them somewhere between 20 and 32 years old. They were certainly men, they weren’t kids,” Gee said.
Gee assumes it was his wife turning on the light that scared the men away. He called 911 and officers were there within minutes.
Turner Security Familiar With Group
John Turner, president of Turner Security lives in the area. Gee called all of the neighbors he knew.
Turner said it sounds like the same group that has broken into 20 different houses from the Lake Van Ness to Copper River areas.
“This has been going on for the past few years you know, they’re looking for people not home and unfortunately the only way to find out if they’re not home, you know, is to go through the back door sometimes,” Turner said.
Some people have been home when this group tries to enter. Turner recommends not only having and setting the alarm security system but also getting training with a firearm.
Gee said he is upgrading his floodlights.
Group Targets Higher-End Homes
Gee said the people appeared to be physically-fit men around six feet tall. Their face coverings did not show any ethnicity, but Turner is confident he has seen this group before.
“Talking to residents where I have camera systems and alarm systems and things,” Turner said. “We’ve run off these guys several times over the past few years.”
Being Father’s Day weekend and in a richer neighborhood, the group probably thought the people living in that area might be away on vacation. They often target higher-end homes, Turner said.
They will go right to the master bedroom and grab purses, Turner said. Eight locations near Copper River have been hit. People assume because they live in a gated community thieves won’t break in, Turner said. He estimates this group has pulled off 20 burglaries.
Turner said the first call should be to 911. For those looking for firearms training, Turner suggested reaching out to Instinct-Defense.com