A Ceres police officer recovered a vehicle reported stolen just 72 minutes earlier on Monday afternoon, July 11 and arrested three young persons in connection with the theft.
Officer Eric Gallegos had taken a report at 12:41 p.m. of a stolen black Mercedes in the 2800 block of Fowler Road. A little over an hour later, at 1:53 p.m. to be exact, Gallegos was patrolling the 1600 block of Richland Avenue when he saw the stolen vehicle traveling in front of him. He pulled in behind it and followed it into an apartment complex parking lot where a felony traffic stop was performed. Three occupants were ordered out of the car at gunpoint. A search of the car turned up a loaded handgun in the back seat, methamphetamine and marijuana.
Two juvenile female passengers, aged 16 and 17, were arrested and charged with auto theft.
Driver Jose Gomez, 24, of Modesto, admitted to owning the gun and drugs. Gomez was arrested and charged with auto theft, possession of a loaded firearm inside a vehicle, being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm, transportation of methamphetamine and possession of meth for sale.