Owner finds vehicle on sale
A man in Madera is expected to be arraigned on Monday on suspicion of possessing a stolen pickup truck and trying to sell it online.
According to Madera Police Sgt. Josiah Arnold, Gerald Fontes, 28, was arrested Thursday in a sting operation near Road 35 and Avenue 13 1/4 for possession of a stolen vehicle and operating a chop shop.
Fontes was further charged with resisting arrest while on the scene, and for possession of an unspecified controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
The vehicle, a white, 2010 Ford F-250 pickup, was reported stolen on June 29, and initially fell under the investigation of the Madera Police Department’s patrol officers, but the case was transferred over to the Special Investigations Unit after the owner of the pickup reportedly found the vehicle listed for sale on www.craigslist.com.
Arnold also said parts of the pickup had been stripped off when they found it. The discovery of the truck online, the sting operation, and the arrest, Arnold stated, happened in the course of a single day.
“Our unit had a couple guys go undercover with the suspect, and he took them to where he was hiding the truck, and then we went in and busted him,” Arnold said. “He was going to sell that to our undercover guy for $400, which is ridiculous, because that vehicle is worth well over $400.”
According to Arnold, the success of the operation was thanks, in part, to the victim, whose cooperation and observation led to the arrest.
“It’s cool that they found their own truck, and the way modern technology gets people caught,” Arnold said. “Modern technology does not work in the favor of our suspects.”