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Crime Digest
A recap of the most noteworthy crimes committed in the area.
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• DRUGS MAY HAVE PLAYED ROLE IN VEHICLE PURSUIT: CERES - Police believe that drugs were a factor in a lengthy police pursuit of a suspect into Merced County on Friday, March 8.

At 2:05 a.m. a Ceres officer attempted to pull over Salvador Tafoya, 34, of Modesto, for a mechanical violation at Hatch Road and Herndon Avenue. Instead, the driver of the 1998 Chevy Cavalier accelerated down eastbound Hatch Road, south onto Moffet Road and then westbound on Whitmore Avenue. The driver continued speeding down to Crows Landing Road and then northbound until reaching the Highway 99 onramp.
The chase continued onto southbound Highway 99 until the chase left the county. Tafoya slowly pulled off at the Shanks exit in Delhi. The car was moving slowly at 25 mph, said Lt. Brent Smith.
Officers performed a PIT maneuver to get the car stopped and then blocked it. Tafoya was taken out of the car at gunpoint. He appeared dazed and exhibiting signs of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Tafoya was arrested and booked on charges of driving under the influence, engaging in a pursuit, and felony evading of an officer.

• MAN STRIPS OFF CLOTHES IN DRUG TRIP: CERES - A 24-year-old Ceres man was arrested Monday, March 4 after he was spotted in the street removing his clothing in what police belief was a hallucinogenic state following drug use.
Police received 911 calls at 2:50 p.m. about a man taking off his clothes in the 1600 block of Running Lane. At the same time 911 operators received a call about a possible stabbing at the same location. Police found Donovan Saldana who tried to run from them. During an investigation it was determined that no stabbing had occurred, but Saldana, a parolee, was arrested and booked for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

• MAN ACCUSED OF WIRE THEFT: CERES - An alert citizen spotted a suspect inside a residence stealing wire and got involved, which helped police make an arrest.
The incident occurred at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 4 in the 1800 block of Richard Way. The citizen reported seeing the man cutting a cable TV wire and called 911. The suspect knew he was spotted and began to run away, with the citizen giving chase southbound on Richland Avenue.
Police checked out the apartment complex at 1625 Richland Avenue and found Alvero Obergon, 23, of Ceres, with the cable still in his hand. He was arrested and booked on metal theft charges.

• MEN ARRESTED FOR SHOTS FIRED AT BAR: CERES - Two men were arrested for allegedly firing a gun outside the El Pavilion night club on South Ninth Street on Saturday, March 9.
Ceres Police officer Coey Henson happened to be in the area and heard gunshots and responded to the area. Henson blocked the driveway to the parking lot of the bar which prevented a green Dodge Durango from leaving. Efrain Flores, 22, climbed out and attempted to run away but was wrestled to the ground where he was handcuffed.
A man inside the vehicle, Alejandro Vargas, 33, of Turlock, was also arrested after officers found a small .38 caliber pistol in truck. Five of six rounds had been discharged. Both were charged with illegally discharging a firearm in the city. The Durango was towed.
Apparently nothing had been hit, said police.

• WEST CERES RESIDENT ROBBED IN HOUSE: CERES - A resident in the 2700 block of Twin Bridges Drive fought off an armed suspect who broke into his home and demanded gold on Monday, March 4.
Police said that the suspect got away but not before a struggle ensued in which the suspect's gun was discharged.
The residential robbery occurred at 2:30 p.m. when a white male in his 20s, standing 5-foot-8, weighing 150 pounds and wearing short hair, knocked on the door. When the victim answered the door the suspect moved in, pointing a gun and demanding gold.
The victim fought back, grabbing the suspect in a head lock and ripping his shirt partially off. The victim dislocated his shoulder in the struggle. Eventually the suspect broke free and ran from the residence, last seen jumping fences.
Police located the suspect's stolen handgun in a trash can in front of the residence.
Lt. Brent Smith said the suspect was likely knocking on the door to see if anyone would answer with the plans to kick the front door open if unoccupied.

• CUSTOMER ATTACKED & ASSAILANT NABBED: CERES - A Factory to You store customer was assaulted on Wednesday night, March 6, and the assailant put up a physical fight with authorities during her subsequent arrest.
The incident occurred at 7:30 p.m. at the Hatch Road store. Police arrived and located suspect Ariadna Cabrera, 28, in the parking lot. An officer had to chase her down and struggle to gain control of her. The officer pinned Cabrera to the ground but she rolled around and tried to use her elbows as weapons in an attempt to fight being handcuffing. A private citizen assisted the officer gain control, said Lt. Brent Smith.
Cabrera appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance as she tried to kick Sgt. Jose Berber in the chest while being place in the back of a patrol car. She also allegedly fought with AMR paramedics and had to be restrained on a gurney.
After she was medically cleared, Cabrera was booked on charges of obstructing or delaying an officer, being under influence and violation of probation.