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Mail theft suspects lead Ceres Police on chase into Modesto

Two men seen breaking into a cluster mailbox in Ceres and reported to police ended up leading officers on a high-speed pursuit into north Modesto Wednesday afternoon and crashing their car.

The mail theft occurred in Eastgate around 2 p.m. A witness saw the pair climb into a white Toyota and followed it while calling 911 to report the location. The suspects and the witness who followed pulled into the parking lot of La Sequoia market where Carlos Gomez, 25, of Tracy, got out and brandished a crowbar in an attempt to scare off the reporting party.

A Ceres police officer moved into the area and tried to pull over the suspects but the pursuit was on.  The chase went up northbound Highway 99 into Modesto where traffic was stopped for a red light on westbound Sylvan Avenue at McHenry Avenue. Gomez tried to drive around the blockage and clipped a car before being struck by the front of a Ceres Police canine unit patrol vehicle driven by Officer Kiashira Ruiz. She complained of pain and was treated at the scene by paramedics.

Gomez was booked on suspicion of evading a police officer causing injury, exhibiting a deadly weapon, possession of burglary tools, theft, conspiracy and vandalism. His passenger, Richard Raygoza, 22, of Modesto, was booked for possession of burglary tools, theft, vandalism and conspiracy to commit a crime.

The suspects’ car yielded mail believed taken from the box.