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Officer happens across theft suspect while shopping
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Manteca officers Paul Carmona and Steve Schluer await the arrival of a transport vehicle for auto theft suspect Dustin Bonvillain, 21, and Stephanie Martinez, 28, arrested on a $20,000 warrant in the Wal Mart Shopping Center parking lot Thursday afternoon. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Regional auto theft task force officer Steve Schluer was taking a minute out to pick up a birthday card at Wal Mart Thursday afternoon when he got detoured by a suspect he noticed in the parking lot.

Dustin Bonvillain, 21, of Manteca was arrested in the recent theft of his ex-girlfriend’s car – a 1999 blue Buick Regal – from her home on Assunta Court near Sierra High School.  Officers said he took the car to Pleasanton where he then sold it to a man living in that community.

As officers explained, the deal was never completed because the buyer developed health problems and was admitted to a mental hospital.  The buyer’s 53-year-old dad was subsequently contacted by Bonvillain and told him that his son had stolen the car from him.

The dad later met up with the Manteca man in Tracy where he was allegedly battered by Bonvillain; however police said he was reluctant to file charges against him for the assault.

Bonvillain was charged with auto theft and possession of a stolen vehicle as well as for violation of a restraining order protecting his ex-girlfriend.

Martinez was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and the outstanding warrant.