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A Los Angeles cancer patient staying at a Ceres motel to receive treatment at a Valley hospital and her family were robbed at gunpoint on Monday afternoon.

The three victims - a 49-year-old man, his 48-year-old wife, and their 21-year-old daughter - were held at gunpoint while they were at the Howard Johnson Express Inn in the 1600 block of Herndon in Ceres.

The family had been staying at the Howard Johnson for the past three days while the woman receives treatment.

At 2:04 p.m., the man was in the parking lot of the motel when he was approached by a Latino man judged to be 6-foot tall. The suspect asked the victim for change, and was given 50 cents. The suspect then produced a black pistol and placed it against the victim's abdomen.

Meanwhile, a 5-foot-6 tall Hispanic man entered the hotel room, confronting the wife and daughter. The first suspect ordered the father into the room and the family was ordered to the ground.

The suspects took an undisclosed amount of cash and left in a black sedan which headed southbound on Herndon Road.

Detectives are still investigating the case and seek tips from anyone with information about the robbery or the suspects. Information may be directed to Ceres Police detectives at 538-5672 or the Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers, at 1-866-60-CRIME, or text tips to "274637" with TIP704 in the wording. Or visit

• WEAPONS CHARGE FILED: CERES - A Ceres teenager is facing weapons charges following a Friday night traffic stop in which a loaded concealed handgun was located.

Officers Dirk Newenheis and Carlos Quiroz stopped a black Ford Mustang at Central Avenue and Glenda Way because driver Rodrigo Alvarado, 18, of Ceres, wasn't wearing his seat belt. During the 10:03 p.m. stop, officers learned Alvarado was on probation and he was searchable. Under the passenger seat they located a loaded .357 Taurus revolver handgun.

Alvarado was arrested and booked on the weapons charge.

• WANTED PAROLEE ARRESTED: CERES - Police apprehended Ceres parolee-at-large Jason Qualls, 31, after he tried to elude officers on Friday evening.

Officer Pay Dayton of the Street Crimes Unit spotted Qualls while on patrol at 11:30 p.m. at Laurel Avenue and Collins Road. Qualls immediately ran away. Dayton gave chase but lost Qualls in the area of Industrial Way and Hemlock Avenue.

Sheriff's Deputy Dave Thompson and canine Smoke tracked down Qualls to a residence on Hemlock Avenue. Qualls had broken into the home and was hiding behind a sofa. When he refused to come out, the canine was sent in and bit Qualls on the arm.

Qualls was treated at a hospital and then booked.

• PIZZA PATRON ARRESTED: CERES - An allegedly drunk and disorderly patron of Rico's Pizza was arrested Thursday evening after he caused disruptions and was removed by employees.

Police were called at 7 p.m. for a fight at the Hatch Road eatery. An intoxicated Andreas Jasso, 28, of Ceres, had sustained injuries to his face after being struck by an employee after Jasso allegedly tried to smash a beer bottle into the employee's head. Jasso had been causing problems inside and employees were trying to escort him out but he refused to leave and the fight ensued.

Jasso was treated at Doctors Medical Center for injuries and booked for public drunkeness.

• TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUGS: CERES - Evidence of a marijuana sales operation was discovered in a Honda Civic which was pulled on Friday over for having expired license registration tags.

Officer James Riley was patrolling in the area of Sam and Leo avenues at 9:10 p.m. when he pulled over Ruben Manriquez, 19, of Modesto. The strong smell of marijuana was inside the car, prompting a search of the car. Riley located seven grams of concentrated cannabis, one gram of cocaine and measuring scales.

Manriquez was arrested and charged with possession of cannabis for sale, possession of cocaine for sale, and possession of drug sales paraphernalia.

• DRUGS FOUND DURING CAR STOP: CERES - Joseph Berragan, 28, of Ceres, was arrested Monday, Jan. 23 on a possession of illegal drugs charge.

At 11:10 p.m., Officer Brittany England stopped a 1997 Buick LeSabre at Lawrence and Ninth streets for failure to yield. In a search of the car, the officer turned up marijuana and several bottles of prescription medication, including Vicadin and Oxycontin.

Berragan was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of opiates, possession of prescription medicine without a prescription and driving without a license.

• LARGE MARIJUANA GROW FOUND: TURLOCK - Failure to wear a seat belt led to officers making a traffic stop which then led to a major marijuana growing operation on Thursday.

Officer Trinidad Viramontes was patrolling in the 2500 block of Whitmore Avenue in Ceres at 9:24 a.m. when he saw a 2000 Acura being driven by a driver who wasn't seatbelted.

Frank Berber, 31, of Turlock, was unable to produce a driver's license but did show an expired cannabis user card after the officer smelled pot coming from the passenger compartment. Berber showed that he was carrying several ounces of pot. Evidence of pot sales was seized, including packaging materials and over $600 in cash.

A search warrant was served on Berber's residence in the 2200 block of Oxford Avenue in Turlock. Police confiscated 212 marijuana plants in a Glock handgun.

Exposed electrical wiring led to charges of child endangerment since there was a three-year-old in the house.

Berber faces charges of possession of marijuana for sales, illegal cultivation of marijuana and driving without a license.