A Ceres man is facing multiple criminal charges in both Merced and Stanislaus counties after stealing a vehicle and then setting it on fire in Turlock.
Francisco Manuel Cardenas Jr., 35 of Ceres, was booked into the Merced County Jail on charges of resisting arrest, felony vandalism and auto theft. Turlock Police Department is submitting an affidavit in support of arrest for arson, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of stolen property.
Cardenas’ run in with law enforcement began Friday night, June 14 in Hilmar when the Merced County Sheriff’s Department was attempting to arrest him on suspicion of felony vandalism. Cardenas was able to escape capture and in the process stole a pickup. He was driving the stolen vehicle in Turlock when someone recognized the truck as belonging to a family member and alerted police about it.
Cardenas and the stolen truck were located by the police in the 1600 block of Colorado Avenue. Cardenas was walking away from the truck when it was suddenly engulfed in flames, according to the police report. Cardenas was arrested.
No injuries were reported from the fire.