Law & Order

ESCAPEES IN CUSTODY: The last of three inmates who escaped from a Merced County jail last week was back in custody after sheriff's deputies chased him down Monday in Manteca. Merced County deputies Kevin Blake and Dustin Witt arrested Richard Ray Perry, 28, when they spotted him in the 1800 block of East Yosemite Boulevard, sheriff's spokesman deputy Tom MacKenzie said. Sheriff's officials said Perry, Donald Stephenson, 45, and Christopher Daniels, 28, escaped from the John Latorraca Correctional Facility on Jan. 21. Deputies caught Stephenson in a Merced County field after a chase Sunday afternoon, and authorities found Daniels hiding in a portable outhouse Jan. 22 in Turlock, authorities have said. Blake and Witt were in Manteca on Monday after police there reported Perry was in town. MacKenzie said an officer made a traffic stop and saw Perry, who was driving, run from the vehicle. Police said they found a loaded .357-caliber handgun in the vehicle. Officers searched for Perry, and two hours later Blake and Witt arrived and were flagged down by car dealership employees, who had spotted Perry across the street. The deputies approached Perry and a short foot chase ended when Witt used a Taser on Perry, who was taken into custody.

TEEN'S BODY FOUND: Stanislaus County sheriff's investigators found the body of a 15-year-old boy Monday morning who appears to have died of a gunshot wound, authorities reported. The death appears to have been a suicide, sheriff's spokesman Royjindar Singh said. The body was found in a shed at a home on Moffet Road near Linwood Avenue, west of Turlock.

POLICE UNCOVER SUSPECT: Modesto police officers found a loaded .38-caliber handgun near a vehicle whose driver drove off during a traffic stop, authorities said. Police arrested the driver, 23-year-old Natera Stickler of Modesto, when they found her hiding under a tarp in a Jeep. At 12:35 a.m. Monday on Chicago Avenue, an officer tried to stop Stickler and a male passenger on suspicion of traffic violations, police spokesman Sgt. Craig Gundlach said. Stickler failed to stop and ran several stop signs as she drove east on Chicago past Paradise Road, he said. The officer chased her briefly, then slowed down for safety reasons. When he next saw her vehicle, it had crashed at the Municipal Golf Course. Gundlach said officers saw Stickler running from the vehicle, but they did not see the male passenger spotted earlier and never found him. Officers used a police dog to track Stickler to the back yard of a house in the 700 block of Tuolumne Boulevard, where they found her in the Jeep. Stickler, who was on probation, is being held at the Public Safety Center on $20,000 bail on suspicion of evading a police officer, carrying a loaded handgun and a probation violation.