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Ceres man arrested for auto theft
Suspect leads police on short chase
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A 25-year-old Ceres man will answer to charges that on early Friday morning, Feb. 20 he drove drunk into a fence and fled the scene.

At 12:57 a.m., Officer Kevin Sakasegawa was dispatched to check on an unoccupied vehicle that had crashed into a fence near Eastgate Bouelvard and Whitmore Avenue. He found a red Hyundai Sonata blocking the northbound lane of Eastgate Blvd. just north of Whitmore Avenue. There was no one in the vehicle or area and all airbags had been deployed which suggested at least two people in the front seats during the crash. The keys were missing.

Because the vehicle was registered to an owner in the 3600 Southern Oak Drive near the crash site, Ceres Police Sergeant Vince Hooper checked the neighborhood and spotted Nicolas Edward Perales who appeared drunk and had the keys to the vehicle. Perales admitted he had been driving his girlfriend back to Ceres from Turlock where he had been drinking whiskey and felt “buzzed.” He explained how he lost control and hit something and that both occupants panicked and fled on foot. He called his father who picked them up around the corner. 

Perales was arrested for DUI and hit and run after an evidentiary breath sample showed him with a blood alcohol content of 0.22 percent – nearly triple the legal limit. Because Perales was near his house he was issued a citation and released to his family.