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Driver booked for auto theft
Ceres Cop Car

A man who was out on bail for a prior crime was arrested Thursday evening while driving a stolen vehicle on River Road.

Reymundo Mendez, 35, of Modesto, was booked for felony auto theft, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools, and committing a felony while out on bail.

His arrest came at 2:54 a.m. when Ceres Police Officer Eric Gallegos checked the license plate of the Acura Integra traveling in front of him while westbound on River Road and learned that the number was assigned to a Chevy. Officer Gallegos conducting a traffic stop west of Avon Street.

Mendez said he just bought the car and put the license plate from another vehicle he owned because the car had no plates and was trying to avoid getting pulled over. The vehicle had a different front license plate registered to a Honda. Mendez was detained as the officer learned the car had been stolen out of Modesto. The car had a broken ignition and replaced with a different ignition featuring a non-factory key.

Mendez told the officer he bought the vehicle three months prior from "someone" but unable to provide information. Mendez stated he paid cash for the vehicle and the vehicle came with no plates. Mendez said the vehicle was white when he bought it and someone painted it a different color.

The rightful owner stated the vehicle was stolen from his residence approximately two months ago. The vehicle had both license plates on it and he had the keys to it. The owner said the vehicle was originally white and it appeared someone painted it tan. The owner did not know Mendez and never gave him or anyone else permission to take or borrow the vehicle.