MAN CRASHES CAR TRYING TO FLEE OFFICER: CERES - A 23-year-old man who was living in the country illegally and driving without a license, crashed his car into a utility pole after fleeing a Ceres officer Wednesday, July 28.
Arrested was Oscar Gomez, 23, of Hughson. He was booked for driving without a license, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and providing false information to an officer.
At 12:35 p.m. Officer Chris Melton stopped Gomez for speeding at Hatch Road and Eastgate Boulevard. Lt. Brent Smith said Gomez pulled over his blue 1993 Lumina but then gave Melton a false name. Gomez was asked to exit his vehicle to sign a citation, but Gomez started up his car and sped off southbound on Eastgate Boulevard. Melton gave chase, with the pursuit reaching speeds of up to 65 mph on the residential collector street. When Gomez reached Whitmore Avenue he attempted to turn onto eastbound Whitmore Avenue but was going too fast and lost control, crashing head-on into a traffic signal pole. Gomez was taken to Doctors Medical Center for treatment of injuries.
Federal immigration authorities were made aware of Gomez, who faces deportation.
WOMAN ROBBED OUTSIDE BANK: CERES - A 24-year-old woman was robbed by a man in the parking lot of Wells Fargo Bank in downtown Ceres on July 26.
The woman, an employee of a local pizza business, drove into the Fourth Street bank parking lot at 10:12 a.m. She got out of her car with her purse and the company's deposits when a man rushed her and grabbed her purse. The victim wouldn't let go and she went down with the robber onto the asphalt in a struggle. The suspect, who was yelling obscenities at the woman, managed to free the purse from the woman's grasp and ran to an awaiting gray sports car with a partial California license plate of 4Y2. Witnesses said the getaway car was parked facing westbound in the alley.
Taken in the strong arm robbery was the pizza money and $400 of the woman's own money.
Even though numerous bystanders saw the man, descriptions vary. Police say that the suspect was described as a Hispanic man between the ages of 18 and 20, wearing a baseball hat, light colored shirt and shoulder-length dark brown hair.
Lt. Smith said bank patrons should always be aware of their surroundings near a bank, looking for anyone who is suspiciously sitting in a vehicle or standing around.
DOG SHOT ON SEQUOIA STREET: CERES - Shots fired after midnight Thursday on Sequoia Street ended up being a resident protecting himself from a pitbull who broke into his yard.
At approximately 12:17 a.m. on July 29, police received calls about shots being fired. Then the man who fired the two shotgun blasts called 911 himself. Officers went to the man's home in the 2000 block of Sequoia where Douglas Harlan, 64, said he and wife were charged in their backyard by a strange dog. Harlan led his wife to safety while he fetched a shotgun from the house. Harlan said the dog eventually charged him, prompting him to shoot twice in the dog's direction. The dog ran off.
Police found that the dog entered through a broken fence plank. The dog was located at a neighboring property and its owner was given information on an emergency veterinarian service.
No charges were filed.
JUVENILES ARRESTED IN BURGLARY: CERES - Three Ceres juveniles were arrested after they broke into Carroll Fowler Elementary School and attempted to remove computer equipment.
A burglar alarm went off at 2:17 a.m. on Saturday, July 31 and police arrived to find two 14-year-olds and a 16-year-old walking in a hallway with flashlights. One teen ran to the Smyrna Park skatepark where he was arrested.
Lt. Smith said the teens had located an unlocked door and gained access to the buildings. Police found computer equipment and portable radios in the hallways which the teens removed.
All three booked for second-degree burglary.
CHASE ENDS IN ARREST: CERES - Police were led on a short vehicle pursuit Monday afternoon which ended in an arrest of Scott Chabino, 23, of Ceres. He was charged with driving on a suspended license, reckless driving and possession of marijuana.
The chase began at 3 p.m. when officer Dan Fairchild attempted to stop Chabino in his silver 2010 Ford 150 pickup at Herndon and Richland for a traffic violation. Chabino did not yield to the patrolman and the chase was on as it moved onto eastbound Ploutz Road as Chabino traveled on the wrong side of the road. The chase went onto southbound Pinero Road to Cabrera Court where Chabino stopped near his residence.