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Burglary suspect breaks ankle while fleeing police
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A burglary suspect sustained a severe break to his ankle as he landed at the deep end of an empty below-ground swimming pool while trying to escape Ceres police officers on Monday evening, Jan. 3.

The incident began when a resident of the 1500 block of Belmont Avenue returned home at 9:35 p.m. and interrupted a burglary. He called 9-1-1 to report that a gold- or silvered-colored Chrysler Sebring was leaving his residence.

Officer Carlos Quiroz spotted the car moving in the 1500 block of Herndon Avenue. The driver of the vehicle saw the unmarked police vehicle and sped off. Quiroz followed the car as it drove into a field behind the Howard Johnson Inn in the 1600 block of Herndon Avenue. Numerous occupants of the car ran into neighboring properties, some scaling fences.

Police found the car to contain a laptop computer and jewelry later identified as being stolen from the victim's house.

Officers set up a perimeter to search for the suspects. Meanwhile, a resident of the 1400 block of Belmont called to report finding blood in his empty backyard pool. Officers searched the backyard and laundry room and found Tony Meyers, 38, suffering from a compound fracture to his ankle. Meyers, said Deputy Chief Mike Borges, had jumped into the backyard and immediately dropped into the pool and dragged himself out despite the debilitating injury. Police also located a gun stuffed behind a washer in the laundry room.

Police were awaiting Meyers' release from the hospital before booking him into the County Jail on charges of possession of stolen property.

As police searched the 1400 block of Belmont they learned of a suspicious group of men who had ducked into a residence. Police gained access to the home and arrested Nathan Loper, 22, of Modesto, for an unrelated larceny warrant issued by Oklahoma officials. Loper was not involved in the burglary, said Borges.

Hiding in a closet was Corey Prather, 27, of Ceres. He was arrested for possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of stolen property, committing a felony while in possession of a firearm and violating the terms of probation. Prather also had a Sheriff's Department warrant for possession of firearm by felon.

The victim in the burglary told police he suspected Prather was involved in the crime because he had stopped by earlier that day in an attempt to sell a guitar believed to be stolen.

Police also arrested Ceres parolee John P. Wilson, 25, for possession of stolen property, and for violating the terms of his probation. A car parked in front of his apartment unit in the 1600 block of Richland Avenue contained a 60-inch flat screen TV and TV stand taken in the burglary.