POLICE SAY DUI SUSPECT HIT PATROL CAR: Ceres police arrested a Modesto man on suspicion of driving under the influence Saturday night after he hit a patrol car, officials said. Ceres police identified the man as Gilberto Torres, 24. Two deputies were driving to Hughson about 10:56 p.m. when, Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy Royjindar Singh said, Torres struck them at East Hatch Road and Herndon Avenue; their car had moderate damage. Both deputies were checked for injuries and released back to work. Ceres police are investigating.
ARREST IN FAKE $100 BILL: Tuolumne County sheriff's deputies arrested a Twain Harte teenager who they say tried to use or get change for a fake $100 bill at a barbecue shop. Ryan A. Wardell, 18, was arrested Thursday near Big Daddy's BBQ, at 22909 Meadow Drive in Twain Harte, on suspicion of passing fictitious documents in connection with the counterfeit money, possessing a small amount of methamphetamine and burglary. Sheriff's Sgt. Craig Davis found Wardell near Big Daddy's trying to hide something in wood chips, the sheriff's department reported. Davis found remnants of the fake bill. Investigators said Wardell knew the money wasn't real; Wardell is being held at the Tuolumne County Jail with a bail of $15,000.
3,200 POT PLANTS DESTROYED: Narcotics investigators in Tuolumne County destroyed 3,287 marijuana plants Friday, officials said. The plants, 3 to 5 feet high and near harvest; had an estimated street value of $10 million, Lt. Dan Bressler of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department said. Tuolumne County Narcotics Team and California Department of Justice agents and Bureau of Land Management rangers did not find weapons or suspects in the Marshes Flat area garden. Authorities have removed 85,311 marijuana plants this season, compared with 83,675 last season.
ARRESTS IN ARMED ROBBERIES: Authorities have arrested a Modesto teenager and his cousin in connection with as many as 15 armed robberies and carjackings across Northern California, the Merced Police Department said Friday. The police still are looking for a 17-year-old Modesto teenager who they say is on the run with two other men also under investigation. Officials say this group was responsible for a July 12 robbery of a Modesto jewelry store on Crows Landing Road; a fingerprint at that robbery, they say, belongs to Luis Angel Hernandez, 24, of Redwood City. He has been charged on suspicion of robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Stanislaus County sheriff's deputies arrested his cousin, Modesto resident Jose Hernandez, 18, on suspicion of armed robbery and carjacking; both were arrested July 29 at a Modesto home on the 1300 block of Normandy Drive, where police said Luis Hernandez was living. Deputies said they found masks, money and a handgun stolen from a Merced cell phone store at the Normandy Drive home. Merced police said they waited to announce the arrests because they did not want to jeopardize the investigation. Many of the crimes police connected to the group took place in Turlock, Modesto or San Mateo County. The robberies started in mid-June at a Turlock auto parts store; the jewelry store robbery was the most recent. The cousins remain at the Stanislaus County Jail. Both men have no-bail parole holds. Seven law enforcement agencies are investigating.
SHOOTING AT TURLOCK MOTEL: Turlock police detectives detained three people in connection with an early morning shooting at Motel 6 at 250 S. Walnut Road, in which one man was wounded. As of Sunday night, no arrests had been made, Turlock police Sgt. James Silveira said. A 30-year-old Keyes man was shot about 9:40 a.m. Sunday. Police found him in his room, Sgt. Nino Amirfar said. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital, where his wounds were determined not to be life-threatening, Amirfar said.