A stolen grey 1997 Honda Civic was recovered Saturday evening by police who arrested the driver for auto theft and his passenger for warrants.
Officer Dirk Nieuwenhuis was on patrol at 12:16 p.m. when he spotted the unoccupied grey1997 Honda Civic parked at the west curb of Bridgewater Drive. The front license plate had been placed on the rear of the vehicle as it had no colored month/year registration stickers. When the license plate number was checked against the DMV data base, the officer learned that it was stolen and watched it awhile. At approximately 1:43 p.m., Officer Nieuwenhuis saw the vehicle occupied by two Hispanic men and moving northbound on Bernice Drive from Darby Lane. With Officer Miguel Villalobos as his backup, Nieuwenhuis conducted a high-risk traffic stop in the 2400 block of Hatch Road.
Dominic Britt, 26, the driver, told police he had just purchased the Honda for $300 from a man via the online selling site "Offer Up." He was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail for felony possession of a stolen vehicle and probation violation.
Passenger Jovan Pacheco, 29, of Ceres, was found to have an active warrant for his arrest for drug possession.
The registered owner stated that her Honda was abandoned near 1816 Richland Avenue for several weeks and was notified it would be towed. She noticed the car was gone on March 10 but thought police had it towed. She learned on March 15 that the car had not been towed and reported it missing. She also told police that she didn't know the men and did not give anyone permission to take her car.