Thief arrested for third time in a week

Statewide COVID-19 related “cite and release” jail policies are resulting in frustration for residents and law enforcement when low level, repeat offenders are walking free, sometimes just a few hours after being chased down and apprehended for crimes.


Jair Rodriguez Zuniga, 30, of Madera had been arrested two times in the last week, according to police when he was found in possession of a 2014 Honda Accord he had allegedly taken from the driveway of a residence in the 2200 block of Driftwood on Wednesday morning about 6:30 a.m. while it was warming up.


Records indicate numerous arrests back to 2016 for Zuniga, who is homeless, for multiple incidents of theft and drug possession, drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, and providing false information to police.


Officers said after Zuniga was spotted in the stolen vehicle, he attempted to flee on foot, briefly resisted and was then arrested and booked into the Madera County Jail on several related charges, and then released.


“This is Zuniga’s third theft related arrest in the City of Madera in the past week,” officers said, “all stemming from acts committed on the west side of town. Always safeguard your property and never warm your vehicles up unattended.”


Officers said that they wanted residents to know that no matter the type of bail or current changes regarding the release of suspects, the Madera Police Department is committed to our citizens and the protection of their property.

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