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Ceres woman among alleged burglars in Turlock
Monique Romero

TURLOCK - A Ceres woman was among six who were arrested Wednesday, Aug. 21 for their alleged role in a Turlock burglary.

A resident in the 2000 block of Roth Court in Turlock called the police at 9:17 a.m. Wednesday to report a suspicious vehicle parked in a neighbor's driveway. The citizen told police dispatchers that he heard a loud noise and suspected that the neighbor's house was being burglarized.

Turlock officers located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop in the area of Countryside Drive and Roth Court. One individual in the vehicle fled on foot, but was eventually taken into police custody after a short pursuit.

Inside the vehicle, officers found stolen property including two rifles, a shotgun, a handgun, a wallet and cell phone, from two separate, unreported burglaries.

Monique Romero, 18, of Ceres, was arrested and booked for two counts of burglary and criminal conspiracy along with Arturo Morales, 18, , Joey Mosqueda, 18, Ricky Florez, 23, a 17-year-old female, and a 17-year-old male, all of Modesto.

All adults were booked in Stanislaus County Jail and the two minors were booked in Juvenile Hall.

The following noteworthy crimes were also reported in the Ceres area:

• TURLOCK MAN ARRESTED IN STOLEN CAR: CERES - Tommy Kong, 23 of Turlock, faces several charges after leading Ceres police on a high-speed pursuit in a stolen vehicle on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

At 12:35 a.m. Ceres officer Jon Vera attempted to stop Kong in a white 1995 Honda in the area of Second and Magnolia streets. Kong pulled over to the curb at Central Avenue and Magnolia Street but as Officer Vera walked toward the Honda Kong punched the accelerator and took off. Vera chased after the Honda and radioed in the license plate to learn it had been stolen on Aug. 17 from an owner residing in the 1800 block of Lake Court in Ceres.

The pursuit lasted four minutes and covered 3.1 miles before Kong lost control and crashed into an orchard tree at the corner of Faith Home and Roeding roads. Kong began to run away from Officer Vera and Officer Freddie Ortiz. Vera twisted his ankle on the uneven ground and sustained an injury while Ortiz caught Kong approximately 200 yards into the foot pursuit.

Kong was arrested on charges of auto theft, evading a peace officer, possession of stolen property and resisting arrest. He also had a warrant issued by Turlock Police for the same charges.

• TWO ARRESTED IN DRUG DISCOVERY: CERES - A 49-year-old woman was arrested on Tuesday, Aug. 20 after police discovered drugs and a weapon in the house where they were conducting a warrant sweep.

At 12:20 p.m. police were looking for a suspect with felony warrants in the 700 block of Anthony Avenue in south Modesto. The suspect was not located but two other suspicious people -- Joseph Womack, 45, of Modesto, and Cindy Betorina, 49 -- were. Womack was on parole and as the house was sweeped police saw a rifle and ammunition in a bedroom and numerous clear plastic packages appearing to contain methamphetamine.

The house belonged to Betorina, who has prior felony convictions. She was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Womack was arrested for parole violations.

• TEEN DRIVER HITS STRUCTURE: CERES - A 16-year-old female driver was cited for being unlicensed and traffic violations after she ran into a pillar of a house in the 2300 block of Acorn Lane on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

The crash occurred at 9:57 a.m.
It's unknown why the girl was not cited for hit and run after leaving the scene, said Deputy Chief of Police Mike Borges.

• CHILD ABUSE SUSPECT SOUGHT: CERES - Customers at Walmart in Ceres noticed a small child in a shopping cart with evidence of abuse and called police who are now looking for the man believed responsible.

At 10:17 a.m. on Thursday Ceres police dispatchers received a call from an anonymous person who wanted to report the boy with bruises and blood on face. The child was taken from his mother to be examined by medical staff at a local hospital as well as undergo a CAT scan.

Investigators believe that the boy suffered at the hands of Michael Weathers, 32, of Empire who is known to frequent Ceres. Weathers is wanted for child abuse and for active warrants for burglary and battery.

Anyone with information on Weathers' whereabouts is asked to call detectives at 538-5727 or Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 1 (866) 60-CRIME or by texting tips to 274637 with the phrase TIP704 in the wording.

• DOG AIDS OFFICER IN APPREHENDING GANG SUSPECTS: CERES - A Ceres police canine came to the aid of an officer who tackled a gang suspect on Sunday while others advanced on him from another side.

The incident unfolded at 1:10 p.m. when someone called to report a possible gang fight in the 2300 block of Whitmore Avenue. Earlier in the day another gang fight had been reported in the 2500 block of Fifth Street but all subjects scattered before police arrived.

Officer Coey Henson arrived and found several males who started to run. Henson chased one suspect into an alley where he turned on the officer with a clinched fist ready to fight. Henson took the make to the ground but his friends came at Henson. Henson popped the door on his patrol car to release Dex to come to his aid.

As one suspect advanced on Henson, Dex moved in to protect him by biting the male on the arm. The dog's assistance allowed for the arrest of all three suspects, one of whom was carrying a pistol in his waistband.

Arrested were Joel Saldivar, 23, of Modesto, for a parole violation for residential robbery; Jesus Rodriguez, 24, of Ceres, for resisting arrest, and being a felon in possession of a firearm; and a 17-year-old Ceres boy for resisting arrest.

• KMART BOMB THREAT UNFOUNDED: CERES - A female's call to report a bomb had been allegedly planted at Kmart was all it took Sunday for an evacuation of the Hatch Road store and sweep by police. However, the 2:30 p.m. proved nothing more than a hoax as police found nothing suspicious.

• SCHOOL BUILDING SINGED IN ARSON: CERES - A portable classroom at Carroll Fowler Elementary School was singed in a Sunday evening arson fire.

Police said that arsonists - possible two males seen running from the campus - set fire to a trash can at 7:43 p.m. outside of the portable classroom. Firefighters quickly responded and put out the fire but the side of the building sustained minor damage.

Police have limited suspect information and would appreciate help from the public. Detectives may be called at 838-5727.

• FAMILY FIGHT LEADS TO ARREST: CERES - A verbal squabble in the 2800 block of Dale Avenue at 8:50 p.m. on Sunday ended with the arrest of a family member.

Officers went to the residence to sort out things but learned that Jose Raya, 55, of Ceres, had left Raya returned to the residence but officers noted that he was intoxicated. They arrested Raya for DUI.