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Homeless man arrested for auto theft
Earl Chapman.jpg
Earl Chapman

A 52-year-old homeless Ceres man was arrested for stealing a motorcycle and evading police during a short chase last week.

Officer Eric Souza was patrolling the south part of Ceres at 1:15 a.m. early Friday when he saw a motorcycle moving southbound on Collins Road approaching Service Road. As the rider made an eastbound turn onto Service Road he nearly lost control. Officer Souza checked the license plate number through DMV and learned it had been reported stolen in Ceres. When Officer Souza tried to stop the rider, later identified as Earl Chapman, 52, of Ceres, a short chase was on.

Chapman turned onto Brickett Court from El Camino Avenue and rode to a cyclone fence on the east side of the court and jumped off and ran through an opening cut in the fence. Souza and other officers set up a perimeter and requested a Sheriff Department canine unit to flush out the suspect. 

The canine led officers to a homeless camp in the field east of Brickett Court where Chapman was hiding. Evidence located near the motorcycle and opening in the cyclone fence identified Chapman as the rider of the motorcycle. Chapman was arrested for grand theft auto and evading a peace officer.