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Verbal spat leads in auto theft arrest
Ceres Cop Car

A verbal fight between a man and woman in front of 1709 Blue Lane in Ceres led to a Berkeley man's arrest for auto theft on Tuesday afternoon, June 6.

At 4:44 p.m. Officer Vince Hooper was dispatched to the residence and saw a man sitting in the driver's seat of a black Toyota Rav4 SUV and a female in the right front passenger seat. Hooper ran the license plate on the Toyota and it came back as being stolen in Berkeley the day before.

The occupants were ordered out of the vehicle.

Juan Adrian Espiritu, 29, of Berkeley, at first told police that he got the vehicle from a friend named "Elmer" in Berkeley. He later changed his story, saying his cousin let him use the vehicle. Espiritu said he "borrowed" the car that morning to pick up his girlfriend and drive together to Ceres.

Micaela Florez, 39, of Berkeley, was released when it appeared that she had no knowledge of how Espiritu obtained the vehicle. Florez said that since Espiritu had the keys to the vehicle she had no reason to believe the vehicle was stolen.

Espiritu was arrested and booked into the County Jail on charges of felony auto theft and possession of stolen property.