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DUI checkpoint nets meth & burglary suspect

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DUI checkpoint nets meth & burglary suspect

Ripon Police officers voice their displeasure with a driver who sped through their cone lane in a DUI check point on Jack Tone Road Saturday night. The motorist reportedly told officers he had bee...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin/

POSTED December 29, 2008 12:04 a.m.
RIPON — A DUI check point on Jack Tone Road near Highway 99 Saturday night netted Ripon Police six vehicles they towed and a woman with two no bail warrants out of Alameda County for forgery and burglary.
Sheena Rae Erwin, 20, also had misdemeanor warrants out of her home town of Tracy and Modesto.  Officers stopped John Crommelin who was driving her Neon and cited him for driving without a license.
Erwin was found to have some three grams of crystal methamphetamine in her bra when searched by a female officer at the police department.  The officer also located a glass crank pipe that had been hidden within a body cavity, police said.
She was transported to San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp by Ripon officers where she was booked shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday morning on the warrants and the fresh charges against her.
Early in the five hour check point police were backed up with vehicles they had pulled out of traffic — mostly for driver’s license violations.  The vehicles were all towed by area towing firms.
Later in the evening when the DUI cone lane was empty an older, white Ford Taurus sped into the lane narrowly missing motorcycle traffic officer Stephen Meece.  Several officers yelled at the driver before he looked up and stopped his vehicle.
The motorist told Ripon patrolmen that he was from Danville and had been looking down at his GPS for directions and didn’t see the check point activity.  Officers counseled the driver and let him go on without a citation.
As of 1 a.m. Sunday the check point hadn’t netted any drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs but officers did locate another driver who had a warrant on an auto theft charge.
Officer Scott Lindsay had been assigned “chase car” duty and had taken up a position at the corner of Jack Tone and Colony.  One vehicle with no visible rear license plate rounded the corner by his darkened patrol unit and appeared to be evading the checkpoint.
Lindsay followed the driver into the Arby’s restaurant parking lot where he interviewed the driver and passenger — the driver was on parole.  After a fruitless search of the parolee’s vehicle it was determined the pair were just in unfamiliar territory.
In past check points the chase officer had  witnessed drivers evading the cone lane by driving into that same parking area before leaving eastbound,  out of sight,  toward other surface streets.
The operation was made possible through a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety.
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