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Crime Digest
A recap of the most noteworthy crimes committed in the area
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• TV SEIZED IN SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCE: CERES – Ceres police seized a 60-inch screen TV being wheeled down the sidewalk by a Colorado man who had warrants for his arrest on Thursday, March 14. Police suspect that the TV was stolen but have not taken reports of such a loss.

Officer Brittney England was on patrol at 8:45 a.m. when she stopped Samuel Akerberg, 36, pushing the large a 60-inch Phillips Magnavox TV down the sidewalk at Evans Road and Central Avenue. Akerberg said he found the TV on the side of the road but was unable to say exactly where. Police impounded the TV “for safe keeping,” said Lt. Brent Smith.

Meanwhile, Akerberg was booked for a warrant with the state of Colorado wanting to extradite him to face theft charges there.

• DRIVER IN CRASH FOUND WITH METH PIPE: CERES – A Sunday, March 17 crash in a residential area was attributed to a driver on meth who ran a stop sign.

The crash took place at 9:30 a.m. with a vehicle in the front yard of a home in the 2100 block of Louise Avenue. Officer Ross Bays responded and learned that a neighbor’s surveillance camera caught the collision on video. It showed Manuel Ochoa, 50, of Ceres ran a stop sign as he was traveling eastbound on Dale Avenue in his 1995 Honda Accord. He collided with a 2004 Chevy 1500 pickup traveling northbound on Louise Avenue driven by Yolanda Marza, 23, of Ceres.

Ochoa’s head smacked into the windshield and he was taken to Doctors Medical Center for treatment of injuries.  

Paramedic staff found a meth pipe on Ochoa, who also was not licensed to drive.

Ochoa faces charges of suspicion of driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license and violating a stop sign.


Marza was also an unlicensed driver, said Lt. Brent Smith.


• SPEEDING DRIVER ARRESTED: CERES – A 42-year-old Turlock man was arrested Sunday morning after he was stopped while speeding down the 3000 block of Service Road doing 80 mph and exhibiting signs of being intoxicated.

Julian Medina was stopped at 1:15 a.m. in his 2004 Honda Civic.  Medina agreed to take a breath test but deliberately failed it multiple times before officers declared it a “refusal” to comply. Because he also taunted officers and disrupted a field sobriety test, officers made the decision to take him to Doctors Medical Center for a blood sample to be taken to determine blood alcohol content.  Medina was booked on charges of suspicion of DUI.

• SALE ENDS AS ROBBERY: CERES – A man, posing as being interested in buying an iPhone advertised on craigslist, stole the item after he pushed the elderly seller out of the way.

The robbery took place in the Kmart store parking lot on Friday afternoon, March 15 at 1:10 p.m.

According to Ceres Police Lt. Brent Smith, a 79-year-old woman and her 52-year-old daughter decided to meet the so-called buyer in the store parking lot since it was a public place. The woman handed the phone to the Hispanic man who then waved it to the driver of an awaiting white Suburban and pushed the women out of the way as he ran off. The push makes the theft a robbery.  The man climbed into the SUV and took off. The Suburban was missing its plates and last seen blowing through a stop sign at Nadine and Musick.

Lt. Smith warned of the dangers of being robbed selling items off of craigslist.

• REPORTS OF GUNMAN RESULT IN SCHOOL LOCKDOWN: CERES – Both Carroll Fowler Elementary School and Mae Hensley Junior High School were placed on lockdown for about 15 minutes on Friday after students reported seeing a man pointing a gun at their bus.

Police were on the scene within a minute from the 12:26 p.m. call and did not locate a suspect, described as a male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and on a bike.

Students who saw the suspect were on a bus returning from Carroll Fowler Elementary.


• MAN ARRESTED FOR MILLING AROUND IN A YARD: CERES – A Sunday 911 to report a possible residential burglary taking place at 2817 Tenth Street at 3 p.m.  resulted in the citing of a trespasser.  Police found Brandon Cookey, 42, of Ceres pilfering in a garbage can looking for aluminum cans. He also took some fruit from a tree in the yard.

Cooksey was cited for trespassing.

• MAN CRASHES CAR WITH MOM: CERES – An intoxicated man who wrecked his car told police that his mother was driving in an attempt to avoid from going to jail on Monday, March 11.


Jose Murrillo, 22, of Modesto, was coming into Ceres down southbound Mitchell Road at 2:40 p.m. when he was travelling too fast to make the curve onto westbound River Road. The 1997 Audi struck a center median curb and ended up coming to rest on the sidewalk on the westbound section of River Road.

Murrillo admitted lying to officers about his 39-year-old mother and passenger driving because he didn’t want to go to jail on DUI charges. He was booked anyway.