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Naked man turns out to be an escapee
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In a bizarre turn of events, reports of a naked man in front of 791 Starke Drive in west Ceres led to the arrest of three persons on a variety of charges.

Ceres police dispatchers were called at 9:47 p.m. on Friday about a naked black male in front of a house. Reports were that several intoxicated homeowners were holding the suspect at gunpoint. Police arrived and saw the naked man walking away from the armed homeowners. Investigating officers were given the story of the man being robbed of his clothes and noted that he initially lied about his name.

As officers were sorting out the event, a fight broke out between two allegedly intoxicated females living on the block. For unknown reasons, the women started pulling each other's hair and continued arguing in front of officers after being told to break it off. The women continued to engage in a brawl that was only interrupted by Officer Freddie Ortiz' Taser gun.

Both Candi Appleby, 41, of Modesto, and Christina Guerrero, 33, of Ceres, were booked for a fighting in public.

Meanwhile, a Merced County Sheriff's deputy contacted Ceres police for help looking for an escaped prisoner, Lonnie Myricks, 34. Myricks had apparently cut his ankle monitor off in the area of Morgan Road and Oates Court. The naked suspect proved to be Myricks.

The tried to get a statement from the Merced County Sheriff's Department but a request for information was not answered.

The homeowners denied that anyone held a gun on Myricks but Officer Joe Wren located a loaded shotgun lying near the sidewalk at scene. It was taken as evidence as nobody claimed to own it.

In other noteworthy crimes, Ceres police reported the following:

• DOG TAKES A BITE OUT OF MAIL THEFT - A Ceres police canine assisted human police officers in apprehending an accused mail thief on Thursday morning, Oct. 10.

Police were called at 9 a.m. about a mail theft at 1804 Evans Road. A suspect was last seen running southbound on Central Avenue jumping fences. An officer waited on Darrah Street and spotted a man who matched the suspect's description but lost sight of him. At about the same time a female resident came out of her house to tell Officer Coey Henson that a strange male had just broken into her house. Henson sent his canine, Dex, into the residence and apprehended the suspect in a bedroom. Dex bit the suspect, Paul Ray Taylor, 25, of Modesto, on the leg as the suspect struck the dog with a closed fist.

Taylor, who was on parole, was positively identified as the thief. He was arrested and booked for misdemeanor theft and violating the terms of his parole.

• POT, GUNS SEIZED - Residents living in the area of the 2000 block of First Street in Hughson caught a whiff of the potent smell of marijuana trees and noticed the high traffic volume generated at one house. They called the Sheriff's Department, who served a search warrant on Wednesday morning and busted a pair of senior citizens who were growing the plants.

During the 8 a.m. search, deputies seized 49 mature marijuana plants, processed and dried marijuana, and concentrated cannabis. The plants were being grown in the rear of the residence where a tall wall had been constructed around it in an attempt at concealment.
Four weapons were also recovered, including an SKS assault rifle.

The marijuana had an estimated street value of $200,000.

Ignacio Oseguera, 72, and Elizabeth Verver-Valdovinos, 65, both of Hughson, were at home and were arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of concentrated cannabis, and child endangerment.

Child Protective Services was contacted to place the couple's teenage daughter, who was not home at the time of the search, with family members.

Over $8,000 in cash was found in the possession of suspect Oseguera at the time of his arrest.

The case is still being investigated by the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency.

• RASH OF COMMERCIAL BREAK-INS - At least three commercial burglaries took place over the weekend with police having little clues to catch the bad guys who inflicted thousands of dollars in losses.

A window was taken out of a vehicle at Western Insulation in the 2400 block of Rockefeller Drive. A report was taken on Monday.

Dowdy Construction in the 3000 block of McKittrick Court reported the theft of metal objects.

Someone also breached the roofs of the Assyrian Cultural Center on Central Avenue where seven of the 16 rooftop air conditioning and heating units had wire stripped from them. The discovery occurred sometime between Oct. 8 and 14. The damaged unit also leaked Freon.

• METH FOUND ON PAROLEE - Ceres parolee Jeffrey Richmond, 25, was arrested Monday morning after a search turned up a quarter-ounce of methamphetamine, said Lt. Brent Smith.

Richmond was stopped at Rose and Dale avenues.

A parole hold was placed on Richmond as well.

• CERES DRIVER FACES DUI CHARGE - A 42-year-old Ceres man will be in court facing charges of drunken driving after his Saturday morning arrest.

At 2:28 a.m. Sgt. Pat Sullivan saw a 2003 white Ford van swerving as it made its way northbound on Morgan Road from Rockefeller Drive. He pulled over Gurjeet Saini of Ceres and determined that he was intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of 0.22.

Saini was booked for DUI.