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TIRE SLASHING SPREE: CERES - Ceres Police are searching for the person or persons who slashed the tires of approximately 30 vehicles belonging to 22 persons on Friday.

The tire-slashing spree occurred between 4 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. The crimes occurred in a four- to five-block radius on Malik, Sun Meadow, Moon Light and Skybrite within Westpointe.

Someone spotted two boys approximately 15 years of age walking in the area who may have been the suspects. They were wearing dark-colored clothing.

Deputy Chief Mike Borges said that most of the tires were slashed on the cars' drivers' sides but noted that some vehicles had all four tires slashed. At least one of the vehicles was a Hummer. The crime is considered a felony since the damage has exceeded $400 in value.

Persons with information on the suspects should call the Detectives Bureau at 538-5727.

DRUGS FOUND ON BICYCLIST: CERES - Leonardo Saucedo, 18, of Ceres, arrested for possession of a controlled substance after he was stopped after riding his bicycle on the wrong side of the road without lights at night.

Officer Britton Moore was patrolling at 10:48 p.m. on Friday when he saw Saucedo at Third and Magnolia and tried to stop him. The suspect kept peddling but then stopped at Magnolia and Central. The officer observed Saucedo trying to stick his hand in his pants' pocket. Saucedo threw down his bike with an attitude toward the officer. A search of his pocket yielded a bindle filled with a white powdery substance that appeared to be cocaine, said Deputy Police Chief Mike Borges.

DRUG ARREST: CERES - An early Saturday morning traffic stop led Officer Carlos Quiroz to make a drug arrest.

Quiroz observed a 1988 Olds while on patrol at 12:14 a.m. and pulled over Paul Garcia, 26, of Modesto. He was found to have a warrant for his arrest on a prior reckless driving charge. A search revealed that Garcia had 15 grams of cocaine stuffed inside of the groin area of his pants and also a small amount of marijuana.

Garcia also was cited for driving on a suspended license and for failing to have proof of insurance.

The officer found the marijuana inside a jar stuffed inside of a backpack behind the seat.

GANG GRAFFITI VANDALISM SUSPECTS NABBED: CERES - Three males were arrested Wednesday night for spray-painting gang graffiti in Strawberry Fields Park.

An alert citizen observed the three men tagging in the west Ceres park at 8:38 p.m. and gave a description of the car to 911 dispatchers they climbed into. He followed the trio to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on Whitmore Avenue. Police arrived and found a black spray can inside the car and noticed black paint on the hands of a 17-year-old boy. He was arrested along with Jaime Heredia, 18, and Adam Lujan, 20, of Ceres. All three face charges of felony vandalism and conspiracy to commit a crime with gang enhancements.

Police said that park property was spray-painted with the Roman numerals XIV indicating a Norteno gang link as well as threats against Surrenos.

Deputy Chief Mike Borges said the arrests came only because an alert citizen chose to get involved. "We need people to get involved," he said.

MOM ARRESTED FOR THEFT: CERES - A 32-year-old mother of three faces charges of child endangerment and petty theft with a prior conviction.

Home Depot store personnel called police at 2 p.m. Saturday to report a woman who was stealing items. Police arrested Jennifer Souders, 32, of Ceres, whose three children, aged 5, 10 and 13 were with her.

Deputy Chief of Police Mike Borges said Souders apparently has a substance abuse problem and was stealing to support her habit.

NEGLECT CHARGES FILED: CERES - A 30-year-old Ceres mother was arrested Saturday morning on charges of child neglect.

Deputy Police Chief Mike Borges said that at 8:45 a.m. a 7-year-old called 911 saying he and his younger brother were at home alone in the 1100 block of Bordeaux, scared and not knowing where their mother was. The child said he had no way of contacting his mother.

An officer arrived and made contact with the child and waited 15 minutes to see if somebody would return. So the officer called Child Protective Services.

At 9:29 a.m. Rosemarie Florez pulled into the driveway and told authorities that she thought she had only been gone 10 minutes. She explained that she had to run her daughter to another appointment.

DUI ARRESTS: CERES - Two men ended up going to jail Saturday for excessive alcohol consumption.

Officers Carlos Quiroz and Britton Moore made a traffic stop at 12:52 a.m. on a car that was weaving in the area of Railroad and Kinser. They arrested Edgar Manzano, 35, of Ceres, for driving while intoxicated. His passenger, Francisco Magana, 31, who is a transient, was also arrested for intoxication. As the car was being towed, officers found Magana in possession of a powdery substance that appeared to be cocaine. Because he did not disclose that he had drugs stashed inside his shoes while he was being booked, Magana faces a charge of attempting to bring a controlled substance into the jail.

STOLEN GUN RECOVERED: CERES - A suspicious acting teen who was hanging out behind the new Chevron station at Mitchell and Service roads Friday evening led to the recovery of a stolen gun.

Officer Joe Wren was dispatched at the scene and arrived at 11:08 p.m. where he found a 15-year-old boy. A search of the car he arrived in yielded a 9mm handgun reported stolen in a Clovis residential burglary. The gun belonged to a Fresno police officer, said Deputy Chief Mike Borges.

The teen was arrested for possession of stolen goods, illegal possession of a weapon and violation of probation that forbids him from being out between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

ACCUSED OF PASSING BAD CHECKS: CERES - Attempts to pass a fraudulent check led police to arrest Ralph Keller, 47, of Modesto, on drug charges Friday.

At 9:57 a.m. police were called by an employee of Richland Ace Hardware's postal station noting that Keller was trying to pass a bad check in her office. The fraudulent check case was turned over to postal inspectors and Ceres detectives but officers searched Keller and found him carrying a possible crack pipe. Keller was arrested for possession of a controlled substance parapheranalia, said Deputy Chief Mike Borges.

Keller was in possession of checks made out to Winco and Radio Shack.

DEPUTIES ARREST 3 IN BURGLARY RING: HUGHSON - Sheriff's deputies arrested three persons Monday morning in connection with multiple burglaries in Stanislaus County.

The investigation started last week during a multi-agency probation and parole sweep when officials went looking for Billy Ray VanHouten, 24, of Hickman, who was a wanted parolee. VanHouten was not initially located but information was developed from his vehicle that he was involved in a burglary ring.

At approximately 5 a.m. Monday, Hughson Police Services Deputy Sutton spotted VanHouten driving through Hughson in a white pickup. Sutton followed VanHouten while other deputies arrived as backup, and made a traffic violation stop. Deputies found stolen property in the car belonging to victims in Modesto, Oakdale, and Knights Ferry. One of the victims reported his car had been burglarized about 4 a.m. on Monday as he was working at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. Passengers Ricky Bargas, 18, and Kelly Peterson, 38, both of Empire, were arrested. All three were booked for burglary, possession of stolen property, and possession of burglary tools. VanHouten had an additional charge of a parole violation.

VanHouten is suspected to have been involved in over 30 vehicle burglaries from Modesto to Oakdale according to Sheriff's detectives.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Detective Jon Rivera at 525-7094. Callers may also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 521-4636 and be eligible for a cash reward.