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Crime

Police: Ceres homeowner shoots man during robbery attempt

CERES, CA - A man who allegedly tried to rob a Ceres homeowner Monday afternoon was shot by the resident, police said.

According to Carissa Higginbotham, spokeswoman for the Ceres Police Department, the 69-year-old homeowner was working in his garage on the 2300 block of Millcreek Drive about 2:35 p.m. when he was approached by a knife-wielding man. The homeowner was able to grab his .38 calibre handgun and shoot the would-be robber. The two struggled for the gun, with two more shots being fired.

The shot man was found across the street with more than one gunshot wound, Higginbotham said. He was identified as 31-year-old David, aka Christopher, Lucas of Modesto.

Lucas was transported to a local hospital where he was in stable condition.

Stanislaus County stabbing death has little information

EMPIRE, CA - A man was found stabbed to death and the Sheriff's department is looking for clues of what may have led to his death.

On Sunday at about 5 p.m. Sheriff's deputies arrived to Abbie Street South in Empire after receiving a 911 call that a man had been stabbed.  When emergency personnel arrived on scene they attempted CPR on the victim but were unable to save him.

Investigators are talking to witnesses in order to find information that led to the stabbing.  Detectives believe that there are more witnesses that were in the area at the time that have information regarding the stabbing death.  The Sheriff's department asks that those people come forward to help with the investigation.

The name of the victim has not been released at this time.

Anyone with information about this investigation can call Detective Jon McQueary at 209-525-7099. You can also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636.

Merced dentist accused of assaulting patient

MERCED, CA (AP) - Merced police have arrested a dentist on suspicion of sexually assaulting a patient who was under sedation.

The Merced Sun-Star reports that Sang Hyuk Park was arrested around 10 a.m. Tuesday after the patient told police about being assaulted while getting dental work under a local anesthetic.

Police have not released the alleged victim's gender or age.

Police searched Park's office in Merced after the arrest.

The dentist was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of sexual assault before being released on bail.

Park's dental office did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Increase in Theft Reports

Increase in Theft Reports

The Turlock Police Department has noticed a significant increase in thefts of catalytic converters. The thefts are occurring during the night from vehicles parked on the street and driveways. The catalytic converters are being sold to junk yards or recycling centers.

We would like citizens of this community to be on guard. If possible park your vehicles in a garage. If a garage is not accessible park your vehicle in a well-lighted area.

If anyone sees a suspicious person in their neighborhood we are asking you to take the following steps to safeguard themselves and their property:

• Do not approach the subject(s).

• From a safe distance, pay close attention to what the subject(s) is doing/carrying.

• Get a good description of the subject(s) ie. race, gender and clothing description).

• Call our Dispatch center and report the suspicious activity @668-1200.

Man suspected in Texas stabbing death arrested in Turlock

Man suspected in Texas stabbing death arrested in Turlock

TURLOCK, CA - A man suspected of stabbing a woman to death was arrested on Thursday morning. 

According to Turlock police spokesperson Mayra Lewis, suspect David Vega was wanted for a murder that occurred in Texas on Aug. 17. The victim was stabbed to death in her residence off the 2400 block of Haven Drive in Kileen, Texas.

On Thursday morning, a Turlock police officer happened to be doing a routine patrol when he spotted a Jeep with stolen plates near a motel. Lewis said the officer then ran the vehicle identification number, which was linked to Vega.

According to Lewis, the SWAT team was then called to serve the arrest warrant; however, Vega surrendered before the team entered his room.

Giant marijuana plants seized in Ceres

CERES, CA - Tired of the smell of pot and strange people going in and out of several homes on their street, some Ceres neighbors complained to police.

A preliminary investigation by police resulted in three search warrants and what officers found Thursday were 78 jumbo-sized marijuana plants growing well above the fence at one home on the 1600 block of Don Pedro Road, said Sgt. Jose Berber. He said the mature plants were about 12 feet tall.

Searches of two other properties on the same block yielded two more pot grows, officers reported. In all, 193 plants were seized, weighing about 2,930 pounds and worth an estimated  $8,790,000 on the street, Berber said.

No arrests were made. Investigators were working to identify the owners of the  properties and whether the grows were connected.

Man shot to death in Patterson

PATTERSON, CA - The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department is investigating an early Monday morning homicide.

Officers were called to a home in the 1400 block of Shearwater Drive in Patterson about 1 Monday morning. They reported  finidng a man in front of a house, dead from a gunshot wound.

The victim has not been identified and no information on the shooter has been released.