Turlock and Ceres police made auto theft arrests with very similar circumstances Monday. Both incidents involved teenagers in the car and one adult who was arrested on charges associated with the teens’ role in the vehicle theft.
The first incident occurred in Ceres about 12:30 p.m. when officer Eric Gallegos spotted a black Mercedes that had been stolen earlier in the day.
He followed the car to the Vineyard Apartments on Richland Avenue, where he and other officers performed “a high-risk apprehension,” ordering the suspects out of the vehicle at gunpoint, said Sgt. Jose Berber.
Officers apprehended the driver, 23-year-old Jose Gomez Jr., and two passengers, a 17-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl.
Officers searched the car and found a loaded handgun, methamphetamine and marijuana, Berber said.
All three suspects were arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and for Gomez, on suspicion of child endangerment, possession of narcotics for sale, transportation of narcotics and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Gomez was taken to jail and the minors were taken to juvenile hall.
That night in Turlock, officers saw a Honda Civic that had been stolen from Atwater being driven in the area of Fourth and A streets, said Turlock police officer Steve Rodrigues.
Officers initiated a traffic stop and a brief pursuit ensued when the driver failed to yield.
After just two blocks the Honda hit a curb, rolled onto its side and hit a parked car.
The three people inside the car ran but all — a 21-year-old man and 16- and 17-year-old boys —were apprehended, Rodrigues said.
They were all arrested on suspicion of auto theft, possession of stolen property and hit and run. Rodrigues said it is unclear who was driving.
The 21-year-old, Silvestre Amador Jr., was also arrested on suspicion of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Amador was booked into the county jail and the teens were cited and released to their parents.