Crime

Meth in odd spot, and a bad spot for sex. Ceres cops ‘can’t make this stuff up.’

A bad decision to have sex in a car parked on a neighborhood street led to a man’s arrest early Monday for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm, Ceres police said. About 33 hours earlier, the arrest of a shoplifting suspect also resulted in the discovery of a novel navel hiding spot for drugs.

The two cases were on the Ceres Police Department’s latest incident report released to media. “Can’t make this stuff up,” Lt. Chris Perry commented on the two cases.

On Monday at about 2:45 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the corner of Ariano Lane and Mira Sol Drive on a report of a suspicious vehicle. The caller said a man and woman were in the car and were using illegal narcotics.

Officer Jon Vera arrived to find a man, later identified as Modesto resident William Rodriguez, 38, sitting in the driver’s seat with the back reclined. He determined the couple were having oral sex.

As Rodriguez sat up, and worked to pull his pants up, he reached toward the door compartment, police said. Unsure what he was reaching for, Vera opened the door for safety reasons.

In the compartment, the officer reported finding a chrome Ruger SP101 .357-caliber revolver with a black grip handle. It was loaded with four rounds, and a records check revealed the gun was not registered, police said.

Vera also found a small amount of white powder on the driver door near the handle, and a separate bindle in the car’s center console. There also was a $5 bill, with a small amount of the powder on it, rolled into a straw on the front passenger seat, police said.

Rodriguez said he did not know the gun was in the car, the report said. The woman, a 33-year-old Ceres resident, admitted using cocaine but said she knew nothing of the gun, police reported.

Rodriguez was arrested for possession of a loaded concealed firearm and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm, police said. The woman was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public. Because of the minor nature of her alleged violation, The Bee has withheld her name.

The earlier incident began with an alleged shoplifting from the Mitchell Road Walmart store. Police gave this account:

About 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Officer Mathew Myers saw a man run across all four lanes of Mitchell, nearly being hit by several vehicles.

Myers followed the fleeing man, who ran through the front yard of a home in the 2900 block of Alphonse Drive and around some cars in its driveway. The man then walked out into the street, no longer with a black bag he’d been carrying.

The officer ordered the man, Gustine resident Thomas Lynd III, to the ground. He then found the bag, which held merchandise taken from Walmart. Store security staff confirmed they’d been chasing Lynd.

A loaded Taurus .38-caliber revolver was found beneath a parked truck Lynd had run around. And Lynd’s vehicle was located nearby, with two spent .38-caliber shell casings inside.

A search of the 37-year-old revealed a set of black so-called brass knuckles in his pants pocket. And a small amount of methamphetamine was tucked into his bellybutton.

Lynd was booked on possession of a controlled substance, possession of a dangerous weapon (the brass knuckles), possession of a loaded handgun, being a person prohibited (for mental health reasons) from possessing a handgun, shoplifting and resisting and obstructing an officer.

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