RIPON — Ripon's quick access from Highway 99 can make the city an easy mark for criminals.
That was evidenced over the weekend after three juveniles and a man all from out of the area were arrested on suspicion of numerous burglaries over the course of a night.
"We do sometimes attract transient criminals," said Sgt. Steve Merchant of the Ripon Police Department. "Many times, these criminals aren't aware of what town it is. All they know is they pulled off the highway into a town to commit a crime."
On Saturday morning, officers Alex Burgos and Paul Staley were downtown when they noticed two males sitting on a bench outside the CVS Pharmacy on West Main Street, Merchant said.
The officers approached the two males, who looked as though they had been out all night and matched the description of suspects tied to a recent burglary. They also had a flashlight, gloves and a pair of socks, which burglars sometimes use as backups to gloves, Merchant said.
While the officers were talking to the two males, Burgos noticed a stack of IDs, including a driver's license, sitting between them, Merchant said. A call was placed to the owner of the license, and she told police her vehicle had been burglarized.
The two suspects, one of whom was on probation for vehicle theft, were taken into custody. Merchant said a computer backpack in their possession contained a Nintendo game and other items tied to multiple reported burglaries.
Merchant said additional information pointed them to a vehicle in the area tied to the burglaries. Police quickly tracked it down and arrested two more suspects. They also had property tied to burglaries in their case.
In all, police recovered credit and debit cards, driver's licenses, personal property, clothing, electronic games, GPS devices and cell phones. Most of the property has been returned to the owners.
Police also were able to link the suspects to a stolen vehicle, which has not yet been recovered, Merchant said.
Taken into custody were a 15- and 17-year-old from Antioch, a 16-year-old from Sacramento and Vincent Henry Virgil, 26, of Antioch.
The juveniles were booked at San Joaquin County Juvenile Hall on multiple felony charges, including possession of stolen property, conspiracy and vehicle theft. Virgil was booked at the San Joaquin County Jail on multiple felony charges that included possession of stolen property, conspiracy and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.