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Officer honored for retrieving stolen vehicles
Ceres Police Officer Jason Brock received the distinguished "10851 Award" during a special ceremony hosted Wednesday at the Salida office of the California Highway Patrol.

The officer, hired only two years ago, was recognized for recovering at least 12 vehicles in a 12-month period, of which three were occupied by suspects were driving.

Brock said locating stolen vehicles is not hard work.

"You have to be in the right place at the right time," said Brock. "I run a lot of license plates."

Officers have the ability to punch in license plates into their MDTs as they drive down the road and have a report back within seconds to check to see if it's stolen.

On hand to watch her son receive his award from CHP officials and Commander Mike Borges was his mom, Susie Brock of Ceres.

"He's gung-ho," said Commander Borges. "Quite a few of my officers would have gotten these if they had submitted the paperwork."

Countywide, the rate of vehicle thefts has remained over 20 percent down from 2005. The decrease is due, in part, to the countywide Auto Theft Task Force and individual patrol officers.

Two weeks ago two individuals were taken into custody who were responsible for more than 20 vehicle thefts within the county.

Collectively, 52 awards were presented to area officers which represented a recovery of 659 stolen vehicles from 2004 to 2007. Those vehicles represented $3.69 million in costs. They also arrested 215 suspects for auto theft.

Others receiving 10851 awards were:

• CHP officers - Mayolo Banuelos, Michael Brush, Kurt Kusick, Christopher Wynveen, Bryce Disch, Eldon Sousa, William Walton, Gregory Bennett, John French, Brandon Moore, Shane McConnell, Daniel Balos, Mike Blum, and Steve True.

• Oakdale Police - Warren Bradford and Ben Savage.

• Sheriff's deputies - Frank Alves, Tony Hinostroza, Jose Perez, Michael Richards Jr., David Thompson and Jesus Sigala.

• Modesto Police - Mark Ulrich, Cameron Crumwell, Daniel Starr, Rick Applegate, Shane Castro, Sean Martin and Mark Starr.