A Ceres burglary suspect is behind bars thanks to an alert city worker who recognized him and tipped off police.
On July 7, the Ceres Police crime analyst produced a bulletin to police personnel about an emerging trend of home burglaries that may have started in June and were occurring on afternoons. The bulletin included a map indicating where burglaries had occurred and photos taken from surveillance video at one of the victim's homes. This information was discussed during patrol briefings, posted on the wall in the police building, and the community was put on alert via the social media.
Three days later an observant city employee who had seen the crime bulletin at Ceres Police Department noticed a man matching the description of the suspect in the 2100 block of Pine Street. The employee reported the suspicious person to 911 dispatchers.
Police arrested 30-year-old transient Eric Black, who has been identified as the man in the surveillance video. He was charged with five counts of burglary and three attempted burglaries, two of which occurred when someone was home.
The case is still under investigation as detectives are hoping to recover some of the stolen property, which included firearms, jewelry, and electronics. They are urging anyone with information about the cases, or any others Black may have been connected to, or the whereabouts of any of the stolen property to contact Detective Tonya Smith at 538-5729 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips may also be anonymously reported to the Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers at 1-866-60-CRIME; or text tips to "274637" with TIP704 in the wording.