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Police: Burglars fired up to 6 shots at theft victims
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Two two suspects who were arrested for firing on their alleged car burglary victims Friday night as they fled from the Bass Pro Parking lot were jailed on multiple felony charges – one sent to county jail and the other to juvenile hall.

A third suspect disappeared into an Escalon corn field and eluded a helicopter and a cadre of officers from five departments that were alerted to a citizen’s pursuit of three individuals who allegedly burglarized his car at about 9:30 p.m.

Ruben Valdez, 18, and a 14-year-old youth from Stockton were taken into custody by Manteca Ppolice sergeants Mike Sexson, Chris Mraz and a biting  police canine “Hoss” and his handler Bob Anderson.   The officers ordered the men out of their car as it rolled to a stop on San Miguel Street near the Taco Bell restaurant on Highway 120.

Manteca police spokesman Rex Osborn said the updated direction of travel for the suspected burglars – with their victims close behind – was first south down South Union Road to West Ripon Road.  At that point five to six shots from a hand gun were fired at the victim’s vehicle, Osborn said.

The suspected burglars then went northbound from West Ripon Road on Austin Road to Highway 120 turning eastbound.  At that point the two Manteca sergeants caught up with the suspects with canine officer Bob Anderson close behind.  They took over the pursuit from the citizen who had been following them.

When the chase entered Escalon the suspects took to surface streets ending up in the 1000 block of San Miguel Street near the taco fast food restaurant.  Osborn said the passenger believed to have the gun fled from the car and ran toward the corn field.  The police dog took the driver into custody as he moved over into the passenger seat, Osborn said.

The Escalon Police Department officers chased the third suspect into the corn field where they set up a perimeter around the field with officers from Manteca, Ripon, CHP and the Sheriff’s Department.

A CHP helicopter was called to the scene using its spot light and heat sensitive infrared camera in the hunt for the suspect believed to be in the corn.  Ultimately three corn fields were searched near Highway 120 and McHenry Avenue.

Valdez and the teen were charged with multiple felonies including burglary, conspiracy to commit a crime, assault with a firearm on a person, discharging a firearm with gross negligence and receiving stolen property.  Valdez was also charged with evading police officers with wanton disregard for the public safety driving on the wrong side of the street.

Osborn said police recovered property that had been taken from the victim’s vehicle at the Manteca shopping center along with a man’s missing wallet they discovered in the pants of one of the suspects.  The search of the corn fields was called off shortly after midnight.

Valdez is being held in San Joaquin County Jail in lieu of $330,000 bail with a court date set for Tuesday in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court.