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• THIEF ARRESTED AFTER CHASE: CERES - Ceres police arrested a Modesto man for auto theft after he tried to outrun a car owner and then police in a reckless and high-speed chase through Modesto and Ceres.

The incident began at 8:01 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, when a Modesto man spotted his truck that had been stolen from the Modesto Airport district area. The owner saw his pickup being driven on Mitchell Road toward Ceres. He followed the stolen truck, driven by Carlton Schuster, 22, of Modesto, until they reached Mauna Loa Drive in Ceres. The pickup owner attempted to grab Schuster but ended up in a physical fight. Schuster accelerated the vehicle, dragging the victim a few feet and running over his foot.

The victim called 911 and Ceres officers located Schuster in the area of Herndon Road and Grandview Avenue. Schuster refused to stop when officers initiated a traffic stop and a pursuit ensued. Schuster led officers through the northeastern portion of Ceres before continuing onto Bystrum Road and River Road, where officers used a pursuit intervention maneuver, which spun the truck. When it came to a stop, officers ordered Schuster to surrender, but instead Schuster put the truck into reverse. The truck moved dangerously toward an officer, who had seconds to move out of the way. Schuster then moved forward toward another police officer was able to move out of the truck's path.

The pursuit continued through the Ninth Street area of south Modesto, where Schuster continued to drive recklessly, said Sgt. Jose Berber, before entering the northbound lanes on Highway 99 at speeds reaching 100 mph. The pursuit ended in a residential area in the 5100 block of Bacchus Court in Salida where a Ceres officer pinned the pickup between his patrol car and a retaining wall. As Schuster was being arrested he reportedly asked the officer, "Am I going to jail?"

Schuster was booked at the Stanislaus County Jail on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer, one count of assault with a deadly weapon against the victim, felony evasion from police, vehicle theft, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest.

The pickup owner refused medical attention at the scene.

• CHILD MOLESTATION SUSPECT ARRESTED: CERES - An anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers netted in last week's arrest of Christopher Magani, 26, of Ceres, for a felony arrest warrant for child molestation issued by the Modesto Police Department.

The tip came in at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 1 that Magani was in the 1900 block of Darrah Street. Police found Magani and arrested him for the $150,000 bail warrant.

• THREE ARRESTED IN STOLEN CAR: CERES - Three men were arrested on Wednesday, Aug. 1 in a stolen car followed into Ceres by auto theft detectives.

At 2:08 p.m. members of the Stanislaus County Auto Theft Task Force (StanCATT) tracked a stolen car in the Modesto Airport district. The car had been stolen from an Atwater owner on either July 30 or 31. Three suspects were in the car as it headed southbound on Mitchell Road into Ceres. Ceres Police were called in to assist in a traffic stop at Mitchell and Hatch roads.

Taken into custody for auto theft and possession of stolen property were: Thiao Thao, 18, of Atwater; Tou Ger Chang, 19, of Merced; and Chee Xiong, 23, of Visalia. Xiong faces an additional charge of possession of burglary tools.

• TWO ARRESTED IN LARGE BAR FIGHT: CERES - An early Saturday morning fight at the Nashville West Bar on Fourth Street in downtown Ceres resulted in one man being injured and two others facing charges.

Approximately 20 persons were involved in the fight which police responded to at 12:42 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4. Police found one unconscious man who had been placed on a pool table after he was struck in the head by either a flying bar stool or glass bottle. The victim's wife, Teresa Keener, 23, of Ceres, was arrested and charged with battery on a spouse, drunk in public and resisting arrest. The victim told police that he was not sure who hit him.

James Meredith, 29, of Ceres, was arrested for public drunkenness.

Deputy Chief Mike Borges said that his officers had difficulty sorting out exactly what happened during the fight.

• THREE ARRESTED AFTER ASSAULT: CERES - An alleged assault on an 80-year-old Ceres mother led to her son's arrest as well as those of two acquaintances on Saturday, Aug. 4.

Police were dispatched to the 2200 block of Hatch Road where the elderly mother had been assaulted by her son, Stoney Phipps, 48, of Ceres. She told police that her son got mad and vandalized the house. While police were taking a report, Phipps' daughter arrived from the 2800 block of Fowler Road saying her father stole money and was at a home in the 2400 block of Rose Ave. Police went there and were let in by Phipps's girlfriend, Vanessa Cartwright, 51, of Ceres. Phipps, who was found trying to hide in the back yard, was arrested and charged with felony vandalism, and assault and battery on an elderly person.

Ronny Larison, 66, of Modesto, was found hiding in a closet. He had warrants for drug trafficking in Tuolumne and Merced counties.

Cartwright was also arrested for drug possession charges.

The arrests were wrapped up by 10:13 p.m.

• TEENS ACCOSTED BY ROBBER: CERES - Police are searching for the man who robbed two teenagers in the parking lot of Sam Vaughn Elementary School over the weekend.

A boy and girl, both aged 16, were hanging out in the Helen Perry Road lot at 12:40 a.m. early Sunday and were accosted by a Latino male who opened the door and demanded money. The suspect, a Latino male, indicted that he had a gun although none was seen by the victims. When they replied that they had no money to give him, the suspect took the boy's watch.

The pair went to the parking lot at Walmart to call police.

The suspect was described as a Latino male in his 20s, 5-foot-10, weighing about 180 pounds with brown eyes and hair, wearing dark blue jeans, a white T-shirt and sporting a tribal tattoo on his chest near the neck.

• DRUNK, ILLEGAL ALIEN, ARRESTED: CERES - A report of a driver weaving in traffic led to the Sunday afternoon arrest of a man who is in the country illegally.

A citizen called 911 at 1:30 p.m. to report s drunk driver on Whitmore Avenue near Central Avenue. Officers scouted the area and found the driver on the side of the road with a flat tire. Jose Hernandez-Perez, 36, of Modesto, was found to be under the influence and in the country illegally.

He was arrested for drunk driving. The federal Department of Immigration & Customs Enforcement put a hold on the suspect for deportation.

• DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ARREST: CERES - Joshua Curry, 33, of Ceres, was booked on charges of domestic violence charges during a Sunday arrest in the 3000 block of Eighth Street.

A teenage son jumped out of a window of the family to escape and call police.

The female victim said Curry had a substance abuse problem and that he choked and grabbed her during an assault.

Curry left the scene by the time police arrived but later returned and was arrested.

• DUI SUSPECT HIT TWO PARKED VEHICLES: CERES - A 25-year-old Ceres man faces two charges of hit and run since police say he struck two parked vehicles on Sunday evening.

Miguel Rodriguez also has been charged with drunk driving.

At 9:02 p.m. a citizen called police to report a hit and run in the 3800 block of Hackett Road. The suspect then sideswiped another car, this time in the 2100 block of Blaker Road. Police found the suspect's car in a yard in the 2800 block of Blaker Road and the driver inside the house.

• LOUD BAR PATRON ARRESTED: CERES - Ryan Vella, 25, of Ceres, was arrested early Monday morning after two encounters with police with hours of one another.

At 10:36 p.m. Sunday, an altercation occurred in the Blue Horse Lounge when Vella appeared to have too much to drink and was uttering racial slurs. The bartender asked Vella to leave but he refused. Police arrived to make Vella leave, which he did reluctantly. As he left he yelled "F--- the police." But officers felt Vella was too drunk to care for himself. Just as officers were ready to arrest him, a vehicle arrived to pick him up.

A few hours later, at 1:09 a.m. Monday, the Sheriff's Department asked for Ceres Police backup in answering a call about a large party in the 3300 block of Roeding Road near McGee Road. There were over 100 persons at the event where shots had been fired.

One of the suspects was Vella, who was taunting police and making threats. When they went to arrest him, Vella ran inside of a residence. Officers followed him and arrested him for being drunk in public and resisting arrest.

• SHOPPER'S PURSE SNATCHED: CERES - Police are hoping to get more clues about the man who plucked a woman's purse from her grocery cart during a Monday trip to the store.

A 64-year-old shopper at Food-4-Less left her purse in the cart to look at vegetables. When she came back to the cart she noticed her purse was missing and had no idea where it went.

Store security video revealed that the culprit was a Hispanic male in his 20's or 30's, standing approximately 5-foot-11, weighing 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes and wearing blue pants, white tennis shoes, and tan polo shirt.

The crime was reported at 11:15 a.m.

Police searched the area and located the discarded shirt on the northwest area of the parking lot, and later the victim's purse minus the cash and phone were found in the bushes near the walking path along Hatch Road. Police are looking for anyone who may have been in the area at that time on the walking path or parking lot that saw the suspect. Tips may be phoned into Ceres Detectives at 538-5727.

"It is just a reminder that you cannot leave your purse or other items unattended even for a moment or someone will take advantage of the lapse and steal the items from you," said Deputy Chief Mike Borges.