2 arrested in theft of cheese vans in California

The Associated PressJuly 15, 2014 

Cheese Vans Stolen

In this undated photo provided by the Manteca Police Department are three Tillamook Cheese vans that were stolen Saturday July 12, 2014. Police in Central California are searching for three bright orange Tillamook cheese vans that were stolen over the weekend. Manteca police say the restored Volkswagen minibuses, worth $100,000 each, vanished early Saturday from a hotel parking lot. They were secured in a trailer pulled by a Ford F-350 pickup that also painted orange. Police say the minivans had stopped in Manteca on a tour promoting the Oregon-based Tillamook County Creamery Association’s dairy products.

MANTECA POLICE DEPT. — AP Photo

— Two men were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing three Volkswagen minibuses that were customized to look like bright orange Tillamook cheese loafs.

Brian Lancaster, 32, and Ryan Monaco, 38, both of Sacramento, were pulled over in Rocklin, California, and they were taken into custody by members of an auto theft task force, Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion said.

The minibuses, worth $100,000 each, were stolen Saturday from a hotel parking lot in Manteca, where they had stopped on a tour promoting the Oregon-based Tillamook County Creamery Association's dairy products.

A tip led investigators to the vehicles Monday in a storage locker about 50 miles away from Manteca. Obligacion said one of the suspects had rented the storage locker.

Lancaster and Monaco were being held for investigation of auto theft, possession of stolen vehicles, conspiracy and arson. It wasn't immediately known whether they have retained attorneys.

A truck and trailer that were part of the entourage were found torched and abandoned on Saturday.

The minibuses were found in their original condition.

Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service