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Narcotics arrest linked to Walmart theft
Ceres Cop Car

A case of shoplifting at Walmart ended when the suspect got away but a man originally believed to be an accomplice in a getaway truck was later arrested for drug possession.

Police were called to the store at 8:21 p.m. on Jan. 12 about a man who took unpaid merchandise out through the emergency exit. The thief jumped the masonry wall between the store and the nearby TID Main Canal where he escaped into the dark.

The caller gave a description of a pickup that was parked alongside the store which may have been waiting as a getaway. Police spotted the pickup and detained Matthew Charles Leighton, 31, of Turlock. Ceres Police brought in a drug-detecting canine which sniffed the perimeter of the truck and alerted on the vehicle, said Ceres Police Department spokesman Lt. Chris Perry. A search turned up a small amount of crystal methamphetamine inside a glass mug in the middle of the floorboard.

Leighton was arrested for possession of narcotics.