WEEKEND ACCIDENTS CLAIM TWO LIVES: Auto accidents took the lives of two people in Modesto over the weekend. Melvin Snipes, 45, of Brentwood died in a rollover accident on Highway 99 north of Whitmore Avenue on Saturday evening. Snipes was a passenger in a Ford Explorer traveling southbound about 8:35 p.m. According to California Highway Patrol reports, it appeared the tread on a rear tire separated, causing the vehicle to lose control and roll several times. Snipes died at the scene, according to the Stanislaus County coroner's office. The driver, a 41-year-old man from Pittsburg, and another passenger, a 36-year-old woman from Brentwood, were taken to hospitals with moderate injuries, according to the CHP. The names of the driver and passenger were not available Sunday. Roberto Alanis, 43, of Keyes, was killed in an auto accident early Saturday morning in the parking lot of California Fruit and Tomato Kitchens at 3800 Leckron Road. Alanis was driving a van at a high rate of speed in the parking lot and struck a flatbed double trailer loaded with wooden pallets and cardboard boxes, according to CHP reports. He suffered major head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by the American Medical Response ambulance crew, according to the CHP report. The accident occurred at 2:35 a.m. Saturday.
TWO ARRESTED IN ATTEMPTED BREAK-IN: Two men who tried to break into a man's home, then fled in a stolen truck before hiding in a dairy, were arrested Saturday, officials reported. One of the men took refuge in the dairy's manure pit, but deputies found him, Stanislaus County sheriff's spokesman deputy Royjindar Singh said. A man living on the 6700 block of South Mitchell Road, west of Turlock, called 911 about 11:25 a.m. to report that two men in a tan, four-wheel-drive pickup were trying to break into his home. Sheriff's deputies saw the truck on Mitchell as they neared the man's home. The driver fled when deputies tried to stop the truck; a three- to four-mile pursuit followed before the men reached the dairy. Deputies found both men and arrested them after the victim identified them, Singh said. The driver, Derrick W. Clapp, 21, was arrested on charges of conspiracy, possession of stolen property, burglary and evading a peace officer. His passenger, Jeffrey O. Ramsey, 19, was charged with conspiracy and burglary. Both men were being held with bails of $50,000. Clapp was placed at the Honor Farm and Ramsey at the Public Safety Center. The truck had been reported stolen from Waterford, Singh said.
EXPLOSIVE DEVICE REMOVED: Sonora police officers removed an explosive device with an estimated five-foot "kill zone" from beneath a man's truck Friday, officials said. The man saw the device about 9:30 p.m. and called police. Officers evacuated a 150-foot radius around the device after seeing the CO2 cartridge with a fuse in one end; they called the Calaveras Bomb Unit, which X-rayed the device and found a powdery substance inside. The bomb unit took the device to Calaveras County for destruction. The Sonora Police Department asks anyone with information about the incident to call 532-8141.
POLICE DOG HELPS NAB SUSPECT: A Modesto police dog helped capture a 26-year-old man who was running from police Friday, officials said. Michael Pennaluna of Modesto was riding a bicycle on Roselawn Avenue at G Street when a Modesto police officer tried to stop him about 2:40 a.m. Sgt. Craig Gundlach said Pennaluna fled on foot through Modesto High School; police set up a perimeter and used police dogs, which led them to a two-story building. Pennaluna was on the roof. He was arrested on suspicion of probation violation and fleeing from police, Gundlach said. He had a warrant for an assault with a deadly weapon conviction, said sheriff's spokesman deputy Royjindar Singh, for which Pennaluna is now serving a 45-day sentence. His bail in the other case is $70,500.