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String of Ripon auto burglaries end with arrests

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POSTED September 13, 2017 12:48 a.m.

It was by chance that Ripon Police officers broke a chain of auto burglaries when they responded to a call of a man yelling at a woman and chasing her on foot down Roxie Drive.
Ripon Police Lt. Steve Merchant said that 911 call on Friday at 8 a.m. resulted in the arrest of two Ripon residents in connection with a number of auto burglaries in the Ripon community.  Arrested were Megan Michelle Alvarado, 27, and Robert Mitchell Johnston, 25, also of Ripon. They were booked into San Joaquin County Jail on charges that included attempted burglary, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools.  Johnston was also charged with receiving known stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.
At the same time officers were first interviewing the couple, additional officers were conducting an attempted residential burglary investigation in the 1400 block of West Fourth Street. Evidence that the officers found in the burglary investigation allegedly linked the couple to that attempted break-in of a Ripon home. 
The first patrolmen to arrive on the scene found Johnston to allegedly be in possession of a credit card that had been stolen from a vehicle burglary that had occurred in the 700 block of Nancy Drive on Aug. 14.  He was also allegedly in possession of credit cards taken from a vehicle burglary that occurred in the 300 block of Blossom Drive on May 13.
There have reportedly been 24 reports of thefts from vehicles in the last six weeks after some widows have been smashed and thefts from unlocked vehicles have occurred at Mistlin Sports Park, Ripon River Crossing bike bridge and Stouffer Park. 
Police are suggesting:
Park your vehicle in your garage.
Lock your vehicles when they are parked in driveways or on the street.
Remove all valuables: loose change, phone chargers, kids’ toys, old jackets all valuable to a drug addicted thief.
Use your vehicle alarm.
Don’t hide valuables under the seat or cover them up.
Lock your vehicle.
Call police if you hear or see anything suspicious.
Megan Alvarado remains in custody in the San Joaquin County Jail with no bail allowed.  Her court date in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court is set for Oct. 2 at 8:30 a.m. Johnston is no longer reported to be in custody. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email gkahl@mantecabulletin.com.

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