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Teens in stolen car dive into river
Ceres Police logo

Three teenage boys from Modesto made a dangerous dive into the frigid Tuolumne River on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 29 in an attempt to run from a Ceres Police officer who stopped them in a stolen Honda.

Two of the boys, aged 15 and 16, were captured on the grounds of Gallo Winery north of the river and the third is at large.

According to Ceres Police Department spokesman Sgt. Greg Yotsuya, the stolen Honda was discovered by Officer Kevin Sakasegawa who was on patrol in the north part of Ceres at 1:10 p.m. He a white Honda Accord traveling in front of him on Musick Avenue make a sudden abrupt turn onto Lindstrom Avenue as if to shake the cruiser. When Officer Sakasegawa ran the license plate of the vehicle he learned that it had reported stolen in Ceres.

When Sakasegawa followed with emergency lights and siren, the driver accelerated and a short pursuit was initiated. The chase ended a few miles away when the driver stopped in a parking lot near Beard Brook Park in Modesto and three males fled and ran to the river and jumped in. The trio swim across and made their way onto the grounds of Gallo.

Other officers, with the assistance of Gallo Security, searched the grounds and located two of the boys hiding in bushes. They were shivering cold after their brisk swim across the river in 45-degree weather.

The two were booked into Juvenile Hall on charges of possession of stolen property and auto theft.  The 15-year-old driver faces additional charges of evading a police officer.