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Ceres man returns to jail on auto theft charge

A 25-year-old Ceres man who was released from jail 15 days prior because of the state’s $0 bail mandate stemming from the COVID-19 health pandemic was arrested Tuesday, May 5 after he fled from Modesto Police in a stolen vehicle.

Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputies and Modesto Police were involved in the pursuit of a stolen Honda Civic driven by Michael Garcia of Ceres.

Garcia initially yielded when deputies stopped him, but put the Civic in reverse, nearly striking the officer, and fled the area. Garcia continued to drive recklessly through a residential neighborhood.

At Empire Community Park, Garcia stopped and fled on foot, but was detained by canine Renzo. Garcia continued to struggle with deputies and tried to bite officers. No law enforcement personnel were injured however.

Garcia was booked for evading law enforcement, auto theft, assault on a peace officer, probation violation, resisting/deterring an officer, and possession of a stolen car.

Garcia has an extensive criminal history including multiple prior felony convictions as well as a felony conviction for evading law enforcement, for which he went to prison; he remains on Post Release Community Supervision in Santa Clara County for that offense.