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FRIEND TRIED TO AID PAROLEE: CERES - As police were arresting parolee Frank Stephens, 37, of Ceres, on Wednesday, in a battery case, his buddies were concocting a plan to divert officers. It didn't work and one of his friends got arrested in the process.

The incident unfolded at 1:24 a.m. on Aug. 20 in the 2900 block of Ninth Street. Deputy Chief Mike Borges said as Stephens was being detained and questioned, two acquaintances tried to distract the officer at 1:32 a.m. by throwing a brick through a window at nearby Walter White School to set off the burglar alarm.

Witnesses told officers where they saw Lori Cole, 31, of Ceres, go after allegedly throwing the brick. She was arrested on charges of felony vandalism. A second suspect was arrested but released.

BURGLARY SUSPECT ARRESTED: CERES - Police have arrested the man believed responsible for the Aug. 14 burglary of the Mrs. Wireless store on Hatch Road.

Gerardo Beltrain, 33, of Modesto, admitted to the robbery, said Deputy Chief Mike Borges. Borges said that Beltrain was already in custody after being arrested by the California Highway Patrol for auto theft and possession of stolen property. The CHP called Ceres detectives saying Beltrain was linked to the robbery by various informants.

"After reviewing the surveillance video we were able to ID the suspect," said Borges.

The Ceres store was burglarized three times in a six-month period but Beltrain admitted to only the Aug. 14 burglary.

At 10:12 p.m. a suspect pried open the front door to the business and emptied a display case of cell phones. Borges said Beltrain was stealing items to sell to support his drug habit.

Beltrain has an INS hold because he is in the United States illegally.

BURGLAR ARRESTED: CERES - A driver was arrested Saturday afternoon for hit and run after witnesses called police and followed him to Turlock.

Julian Barraja, 35, was arrested on charges of DUI and hit and run.

At 4:44 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23, Barraja allegedly rear-ended a Dodge Caravan as they were traveling eastbound on Hatch Road at Richland Avenue. The Caravan was pushed into a Toyota Camry in front of it. Barraja allegedly fled the scene by squeezing down the right-hand shoulder. Witnesses took down the license and followed Barraja. The citizen pursuit ended up at Monte Vista at Highway 99 and Barraja's keys being taken from him. Law enforcement arrived and arrested the suspect.

CERES OFFICER HAPPENS UPON A CRIME: MODESTO - A Ceres officer aided Modesto police last week in apprehending suspects involved in a swindle of a drug deal.

Ceres officer Britton Moore was in Modesto for court-related business on Tuesday, Aug. 19. As he was heading back to Ceres on southbound Sunrise Avenue at 1:52 p.m., Officer Moore was flagged down by a motorist near Helen Avenue. Moore was told that two vehicles were in a chase northbound on Sunrise. Moore then spotted one of the vehicles, a white sedan, whiz by. Moore followed the car and pulled it over. The driver, Anthony Campos, 22, of Modesto, said he had just been robbed of $10 by someone in a gray Volkswagon Jetta at a traffic light and said he began chasing the suspect. The suspects were armed with a gun, Moore was told.

By then Modesto police were involved. Moments later the VW Jetta turned onto Helen Avenue in front of Moore. The Jetta was stopped by officers with weapons drawn. A female driver was removed from the car. She told officers that she had just dropped off her friend, Kendel Johnson, 21, of Modesto, around the corner. At the same time, Modesto Police began receiving 911 calls from residents in the 600 block of Sunrise Avenue, stating that a suspect was running through back yards. They believed that the trespasser was the "robbery" suspect. Moments later an officer spotted Johnson at a tattoo shop in the 500 block of McHenry Avenue. Johnson was arrested.

Campos identified Johnson and the female as his alleged assailants but investigators learned that no robbery had been committed. Apparently Campos set up a deal to purchase heroin from Johnson. Instead of selling $10 worth of heroine, Johnson sold Campos a piece of Tootsie Roll made to look like heroine so he chased him.

Campos, a parolee, made up the robbery story because he did not want to go to jail. He was arrested the next day and charged with a parole violation and making a false police report.

Johnson was also charged with a parole violation.