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• GUN AT SCHOOL LANDS TEEN IN JAIL: CERES - A high school sophomore was arrested Monday, Aug. 16 after he showed up at Ceres Community School with a loaded .22-caliber handgun.

The student never brandished the weapon, according to an official with the Stanislaus County of Education which runs the school for at-risk students on Memorial Drive.

The gun was discovered as a police officer and two probation officers paid a routine visit to the campus.

• CERES TEEN ARRESTED FOR MODESTO ROBBERIES: MODESTO - A Ceres teenager was among four suspected gang members arrested on Thursday on suspicion of committing two Modesto robberies.

Erik Rocha, 19, of Ceres, was arrested on suspicion of robbery and criminal conspiracy with an gang enhancement to his charges. Others arrested were Miguel Avina, 27, John Bravo, 31, and a 16-year-old, all of Modesto. All four are believed to be members of the Norteño street gang.

The four were believed the men who robbed two Modesto stores at gunpoint, said Modesto Police Sgt. Rick Armendariz. Robberies were committed at P.J. Market at 501 E. Morris Avenue in Modesto at approximately 9 p.m. on Aug. 14; and at a Valero gas station at 145 N. Santa Cruz Avenue in the La Loma area at approximately 7:50 p.m. on Aug. 17.

In both robberies the suspects were armed with handguns and wore disguises.

• ANOTHER ROBBERY IN BANK LOT: CERES - For the second time in less than a month, a second female store employee became the victim of a strong arm robbery while attempting to make a deposit at Wells Fargo Bank in downtown Ceres.

The latest robbery occurred at 10:28 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 20 at the bank, located at Fourth and North streets. A female employee was on her way across the lot to make a deposit and passed a male and female on foot. She said "hi" to the woman who said "hi" back. As she kept walking the employee heard someone running toward her and was then knocked to the ground by the male. Without saying a word, the suspect wrestled with the woman for the purse she was carrying. The robber ran off with the purse to the alley behind the bank where there was an awaiting blue Mazda MPV mini van with tinted windows.

The male suspect was described as caucasian, approximately 19 years of age, of thin build, 5-foot-10, and sporting long dark brown hair, a gray shirt and black shoes.

If anyone thinks they know the suspect or has information on the crime, please call Detective Keith Griebel at 538-5727.

On July 26 a similar crime occurred as a female employee tried to make a deposit from a pizza restaurant. She, too, was knocked to the ground for the cash she was carrying.

• TEENS ARRESTED IN STOLEN CAR: CERES - An alert Ceres police officer made an arrest of four teenagers who were in a vehicle just taken from in front of Panda Express.

The four teens, none of whom were identified because of their age, were each booked on charges of possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and probation violations.

At 11:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 17, Ceres officer Dan Fairchild spotted a light blue Honda Civic pass him at Richland and Woodworth that looked like one just reported stolen at the Panda Express parking lot at Hatch and Mitchell roads. Fairchild watched it pull into a driveway in the 800 block of Cadillac Drive and removed the four juveniles, who ranged in age from 15 to 17, from the stolen vehicle.

One of the suspects is from Ceres and the other three from Modesto.

• STOLEN VEHICLE DOESN'T GET FAR: CERES - A vehicle that was stolen just minutes prior was recovered by Ceres Police Officer Steven Carvalho on Wednesday, Aug. 18 and an auto theft suspect arrested.

At 9:45 p.m. Carvalho was looking for a blue 1990 Chevy pickup just reported stolen at the AM/PM mini mart at Hartch and Richland. Carvalho spotted it headed westbound as he was at the intersection of Whitmore Avenue and Blaker Road. When Carvalho shined his spotlight on the license plate, the driver, Baltazar Valdovinos, 21, of Modesto, bolted from the vehicle, leaving it in the middle of the intersection. Valdovinos was ordered to ground at gunpoint and arrested and charged with possession of stolen property and auto theft.