Traffic Stop Reveals Trove of Stolen Items

A traffic stop reveals a treasure trove of stolen stuff, now several burglary victims in Fresno, may end up getting some of their stuff back.

A Fresno Police officer pulled over a BMW near Cedar and Florence, and ended up arresting the driver, 47-year-old Alex Mendez, during a traffic stop Wednesday.

Police say he gave them a fake name.

When they searched his car, they found laptops, computers, knives, purses, personal checks, and items related to fraud.

Police say all this stuff is connected to several home burglaries that took place more than a year ago, including Joyce Blackwell's home.

"Oh boy, I wish Alex was caught," said Blackwell.

She says she saw Mendez steal her TV, and suspects he may be involved in the stealing of her identity.

"Yes, twice. They got my social security card, my bank card," said Blackwell.

Police not only found several fraud-related items in the car but also a PG&E hat and uniform.

Police say Mendez does not work for PG&E.

"Knowing that someone might come to my door posing as a PG&E worker to scope out my house is scary," said Erica McLeod. {}Some of the stolen items discovered Wednesday were traced back to a burglary that happened in her northwest Fresno neighborhood.

"We've had all our kids bikes stolen, they were locked up...busted into our garage, taken lawnmower, air compressor, a lot of little things," said McLeod.

Police arrested Mendez and the woman who was in the car with him.

Mendez was wanted for grand theft, and the woman, Lisa Cartwright, was arrested for violating her probation.

Police say the stolen items may not be returned to the rightful owners right away, because they may need to be used as evidence.