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• DUI CRASH ATOP NEW OVERPASS: CERES - Two persons were injured and two cars were totalled early Monday morning atop the new Whitmore Avenue/Highway 99 overpass.

The crash occurred at 12:13 a.m. when driver Elias Salto, 33, crossed the line and smashed head-on to a second car. The names of the second driver and passenger - which were not available as of press time - were taken to a local hospital by ambulance with internal injuries.

Salto was arrested and booked on charges of felony DUI. He tried to walk from the crash scene as police arrived. Salto reportedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.24.

"It was a pretty devastating crash," commented Lt. Brent Smith.

• ATTEMPTED MURDER AT BAR: CERES - Police are looking for Cesar Ortiz, 29, of Temple, Texas, after he allegedly tried to kill his girlfriend at the La Cueva Bar at 3505 S. Central Avenue early Monday.

Dispatchers received calls at 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 16 about shots being fired at a black Chevy Tahoe leaving the parking lot. When they arrived they learned that a woman had an altercation with boyfriend Ortiz, and that he choked and punched her before she fled in her vehicle. As she sped away out of the lot Ortiz allegedly fired several rounds from a .40-caliber handgun into the back of the SUV.

"He tried to kill her," said Lt. Brent Smith. "You can tell by looking at the car."

Moments later Officer Brian Peterson located the victim and shot-up vehicle at the AM/PM at Mitchell and Service roads. Peterson found the victim crying inside the store.

Ortiz has not been located and the case is under investigation. Ortiz is a Hispanic man, 5-foot-9, 155 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call the Ceres Police Detectives Bureau at 538-5727.

Smith said Ortiz and the girlfriend have three children together.

• TRAFFIC STOP YIELDS DRUGS: CERES - Expired car license tags caused Ceres police officer Jeremy Lewis to stop a blue 1994 Camaro at Hatch Road and Eastgate Boulevard which yielded guns and household goods possibly stolen in a burglary.

Two men were arrested in the 7:58 p.m. traffic stop on Sunday, Aug. 8. John Selfridge, 47, of Missouri, was charged with two probation violations and possession of drug parapheranalia while passenger James Sharp, 43, of Modesto, was charged with parole violation, possession of two loaded rifles and failing to register as a convicted sex offender.

Lewis was unable to determine where the guns and household items came from but suspects they are stolen property. Lt. Smith said the weapons were a .22-caliber Marlin and a .22-caliber Savage rifle.

"The guns were not reported stolen. We ran the serial numbers on the weapons but most owners of weapons don't record serial numbers and so they don't show up as stolen."

Smith said that often burglary victims don't report their loss to police, expecting police to find thieves. But unless a loss is reported, police generally won't know where to return stolen items.

Anyone who feels the items may belong to them should call police detectives at 538-5727.

• CAR BURGLAR NABBED: CERES - A man who was caught rummaging through a teenager's car as she shopped was captured by police Tuesday, Aug. 10 and then found to have stolen from others.

The arrest came after an 18-year-old woman called 9-1-1 at 8:44 p.m. to report a suspect inside her car in the CVS Pharmacy parking lot on Hatch Road. She reported him as a black man in his 30s to 9-1-1 as she also yelled to scare him off. The thief ran to an awaiting red Dodge Durango driven off by a white female. Officer Brian Peterson located and stopped the pickup at Hatch and Richland.

Driver Michelle Rodriguez, 36, of Modesto, and passenger Antonio Smith, 30, of Modesto, were positively identified as the suspects by the teen. The thief also left damning evidence in the woman's car: he accidentally dropped his cell phone while in the victim's car. Inside the Durango, police located stolen items taken from other county burglaries. Some items traced back to a Turlock burglary committed outside the Safeway store earlier in the evening. The Turlock victim was brought to the scene and also identified Smith as taking her purse.

Rodriguez and Smith were each charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine.

• ARMED ROBBERY GOES AWRY: CERES - An armed robbery staged at a home in the 1500 block of River Road ended with shots being fired toward the victims as the getaway car spun off, losing control and crashing into two parked cars.

Police arrested two women involved in the robbery but two males got away.

The crime took place at 8:07 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5 and was responded to by the Sheriff's Department and Ceres Police.

Two black men and two black women went to the home and apparently knew the victims on a first-name basis, said Lt. Brent Smith. The victims were robbed at gunpoint of cash. The suspects attempted to flee in a red-colored 1995 Buick and fired several rounds out the window of the car but the female driver peeled out so fast that she lost control at Richland Avenue and River Road and crashed into two parked cars. The car was totalled. The two male suspects were not located but police arrested Stockton sisters Ihkisha Westmoreland, 18, and Dettranae Westmoreland, 19. They were charged with armed robbery and attempted murder.

Money taken in the robbery was located. Several 9mm casings were found at the scene but no weapon recovered.

The robbery is still under investigation.

• STORE EMPLOYEES ASSAULTED AFTER BEER RUN FOILED: CERES - A group of young men attacked store employees on Mitchell Road after they interrupted the suspects trying to steal beers.

The attack came at 4 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 15 at Food 4 Less.

About 10 minutes before the attack store employees stopped the young men from running out the door with beer. Employees retrieved the beer but the suspects fled. They returned with their friends who then challenge the employees to a fight. Uriel Bustos, 19, of Ceres, was seen jumping on top of the employee's car, smashing the windshield. Bustos was charged with assault, resisting and commercial burglary.

Police rolled up in time to see a 16-year-old strike a store employee in the face. The teen attempted to flee but was tackle to the ground by officer Jeremy Lewis.

Another suspect, Andy Boland, 19, of Modesto, fled on foot and thought he was running to a friend's car but unwittingly climbed into the back of an unmarked police vehicle and ordered, "Let's go." Boland was arrested for assault. Others arrested and charged in the case were:

• Saruth Eang, 18, of Ceres, assault;

• Jose Aguilera, 20, of Ceres, assault;

• A 17-year-old was charged with assault and resisting arrest.