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Man arrested for short-barreled rifle, false plates
Michael Harbaugh.jpg
Michael Harbough

A 25-year-old Turlock man was arrested in Ceres early Wednesday, Jan. 23 for possession of short barreled rifles and the false display of a license plate.

At 1:15 a.m., Officer Nicolas Welsh was patrolling around Mitchell Road and Alphonse Drive when he noticed a tan-colored Volvo parked on the side of Alphonse Drive. The running lights were on but the driver, Michael Harbaugh, appeared to be asleep or unconscious. The officer learned that the license plate on the Volvo belonged to a Pontiac.

While the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) showed that Harbaugh was the legal owner of the car, Officer Welsh noticed the car’s true license plate lying on the floorboard near a power drill.  Officer Welsh discovered that Harbough routinely had switched plates when out to steal items. The suspect admitted that he had planned on stealing some rims for his vehicle when he was caught. 

During a search of the vehicle, Officer Welsh found two assault type rifles without serial numbers as well as miscellaneous parts for assault rifles.