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Wayward car tears through Del Taco landscaping
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A cement curb and some landscaping plants were damaged early Sunday morning when a hit-and-run driver veered off Mitchell Road and tore a path through the area of Carls' Jr. and Del Taco at a high rate of speed.

Officers were astounded to find that the car missed utility poles, cables, and landscaping rocks as it sailed through the landscaping and Del Taco drive-through lane before re-entering northbound Mitchell Road.

The badly damaged car had leaked a trail of fluid that led police to find a disabled Oldsmobile Alero left abandoned at Louise and Joy avenues. The driver had fled in the 4:11 a.m. incident and was not found.

The registered owner of the car was traced to Waterford but police learned no longer lives there.

In other crimes this week, the following incidences were reported:

• SHOPLIFTING SUSPECT ARRESTED: CERES - The new Dollar General experienced one of its first acts of shoplifting with the suspected apprehended the next day.

At 11:17 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22 a clerk saw a black male take baby items and alcohol and run out of the store without paying for them. The suspect then jumped into a van which had its driver's door open and fled the scene.

Officer Ross Bays reviewed the store's video and recognized the thief as Michael Guptin, 22, of Ceres. He was apprehended at 7:32 a.m. the next morning when Officer Keith Kitcher spotted him driving and arrested him for commercial burglary.

• MCDONALD'S TRESPASSER ARRESTED: CERES - A man who was sitting in the Hatch Road McDonald's for hours while acting strangely and uttering bizarre statements was arrested Wednesday, May 22.

Officer James Riley and Jon Vera showed up after the 8:38 a.m. call for help after Christopher Vrioni, 29, of Ceres refused to leave the restaurant. He told an employee "You have one f------ second to get away from me" when asked to leave. Vrioni was uncooperative and had to be forced to the ground where he was handcuffed and arrested.

He was booked on charges of trespassing and delaying or obstructing an officer.

• DRUGS FOUND ON SUSPECT: CERES - Suspicious activity near a parked van at Sergis Court and Shushan Drive led the arrest of a man on drug charges early on Saturday morning, May 25.

Officer Jon Vera was patrolling the area at 3:11 a.m. and noticed a dome light on inside a van but when he passed by a second time it was out. He approached the van and saw bicycles outside of the van. He ordered three men to come outside and show their hands. All three were on probation and searchable for drugs. Mike Pollard, 42, of Ceres was found in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and charged accordingly.

• SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY LEADS TO DRUGS: CERES - Reports of a possible vehicle burglary in the Food 4 Less parking lot at Mitchell and Hatch early Sunday led to the arrest of a woman on drug charges instead.

Police say that Mary Neiner, 55, of Modesto was not burglarizing the green Mercedes at 12:34 a.m. but was on probation and had a Modesto police warrant for her drug possession arrest. Neiner was found with heroin, syringes and spoons and was booked for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, violation of probation and the warrant.

• FIGHT LEADS TO DRUG ARREST: CERES - A Monday evening fight between two males in the parking lot of the Chevron station near Ceres High School led police to arrest one for drug possession.

Police arrived at the station at 9:42 p.m. and searched Daniel Carattini, 34, of Ceres, who was on probation, and found him with seven grams of methamphetamine. Officers then searched his home on Darrah Street and located a larger bag of meth, scales and cash. Carattini was booked for possession of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine for sale.

• IMPAIRED DRIVER LEAVES DUI CHECKPOINT, CRASHES: CERES - A 30-year-old Ceres driver was arrested Monday evening after he was seen dodging a DUI checkpoint on Hatch Road east of Walmart and leading officers on a short pursuit in an attempt to get away.

At 11:19 p.m. police saw Bernabe Orejel, 30, of Ceres leaving the area and accelerated away. During the chase he chased the green Toyota Camry into the roundabout at Eastgate Boulevard and Helen Perry Road.

Orejel was charged with DUI and leading police on a vehicle pursuit.