SWINDLERS' HEARING DELAYED: Victims of two convicted house swindlers will wait six weeks to find out how much they will be repaid. Negotiating attorneys said they've reached agreement with all but one of 20 families who lost homes to Lonni Ashlock, 57, of Waterford and Ronald Buhler, 27, of Riverbank. Witnesses said the men prayed with them before duping them into signing over property deeds for pennies on the dollar. In September, Ashlock and Buhler pleaded no contest to six felonies and were sentenced to one year in county jail, but have been serving their sentence in home detention wearing electronic monitors on their ankles. Judge Hurl Johnson scheduled a May 15 hearing to review the status of negotiations.OFFICER SHOOTS ATTACKING DOG: Modesto police narcotics investigators serving a search warrant at a home on Celeste Drive shot and killed a dog that attacked one of the officers, Lt. Chris Fuzie said. The shooting occurred Thursday evening in the 1800 block of Celeste Drive, just east of Rose Avenue. The officer was in the back yard clearing the area while other officers served a search warrant at the house when he heard a noise coming from behind him, Fuzie said. The officer turned and saw a pit bull, without a leash, starting to attack. "He had no choice but to shoot the dog," Fuzie said. The narcotics investigators arrested Alan King, 27, who was living in the home, said Sgt. Steve Hinkley of the Narcotics Enforcement Team. King was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana for sale. Inside the home, investigators found packaged marijuana, a shotgun and a .22-caliber rifle. Hinkley said Thursday's search warrant stemmed from a marijuana bust on San Felipe Way last week.
CARS TUMBLE OFF FREEWAY: California Highway Patrol officers arrested a Salida man after his pickup truck landed on top of a car early Friday morning when both vehicles tumbled off Highway 99 and down an embankment. Both drivers suffered minor injuries, CHP officer Tom Killian said. Mungai Wa Waruingi, 22, was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence and felony hit and run, Killian said. Waruingi ran away from the crash site, but CHP officers caught up and arrested him, Killian said. Arvhin Barque Daquioag, 32, of Lathrop, was taken by ambulance and treated at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, he said. Fire crews extracted Daquioag from his 1991 Acura, said Capt. Gary Lopez with the Modesto Fire Department. Waruingi was driving a 2006 Toyota Tacoma about 75 mph south on Highway 99 in the far left lane about 3:40 a.m., and Daquioag was driving about 65 mph south in the freeway's middle lane, Killian said. The Toyota made an unsafe lane change and struck the Acura, causing both vehicles to slide off the road and down an embankment, he said. Lopez said that when crews arrived at the scene about 3:50 a.m. between Briggsmore and Kansas avenues, the Acura was upside down on its roof and the truck was cantilevering over the top of it. They didn't find anybody inside the truck, so firefighters used a thermal-imaging camera to search the area in case someone had been ejected but didn't find anybody, Lopez said.
GIRL SUSPECTED IN BOMB THREATS: Oakdale police arrested a 14-year-old girl on suspicion of making two bomb threats last month. Police said they suspect the Oakdale High School student placed calls to Jack in the Box on March 12. That was one day before a bomb threat cleared Oakdale High School for the entire day as authorities combed the campus for explosives. They found none. She is not a suspect in that case, according to police. But the girl is suspected of a second bomb threat at Save Mart Supermarket on Sunday. That call cleared the grocery store for three hours. Authorities say they plan to seek restitution for numerous hours and loss of business. They arrested the girl Thursday morning, police said. They ask anyone with information to call Detective Sgt. Julio Rosa at 847-2231.
RESTAURANT FIRE: A stove fire that leaped from a fryer closed the Jack in the Box restaurant in the 1600 block of J Street on Friday morning, according to fire officials. Crews arrived shortly after the fire started about 10:45 a.m. and used large extinguishers to put out the flames, Battalion Chief Hugo Patino said. Three engines and two trucks responded to the blaze. Patino said the fire was limited to the stove.
VEHICLE THEFT SUSPECTS: Ten people were arrested on suspicion of auto theft in Stanislaus County from March 28 to Wednesday. For photos of the suspects and details of their arrests, see www.modbee.com/local/autothefts.