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Raid yields two Mustangs plus five bowling balls worth nearly $2,000
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Manteca Police officers Steve Schluer and Shawn Cavin lead Chad Maria, 28, to a patrol unit in handcuffs after his arrest on suspicion of felony auto theft and operating a chop shop at his home on East Yosemite Avenue. - photo by GLENN KAHL
An apparent appreciation for Ford Mustangs, bowling balls and run-about boats put 28-year-old Chad Michael Maria in jail Friday morning on fresh felony charges as well as for violation of his probation on a previous conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

DELTARAT auto theft task force officers along with Manteca Street Crime Unit detectives conducted a probation search at Maria’s residence on East Highway 120 near Austin Road at 8:15 a.m.

Police said they found a stolen 1988 Ford Mustang in the back yard of the residence that had been restored complete with an after-market engine – a very nice car.  It has just been reported stolen Sept. 23 out of Alameda County.

Officers located a 454 outboard Guardian boat engine taken from a 1976 handmade Hawaiian vessel that had been chopped apart.  The boat had been stolen out of Lathrop in June.  It had been found abandoned August 28 near South Manteca and Perrin roads by a CHP officer where it was partially blocking traffic.  The runabout had originally been painted orange and brown.

The motor had been installed on Maria’s own ski boat also located behind the house, police said.

In a shed behind the house, officers said they found a 1990 Ford Mustang convertible that had also been stolen, and it had been totally chopped up for its parts, officers said.  The interior, the headers were completely gone.  “Imagine your car with everything on the inside gone,” DELTARAT officer Steve Schluer said.

A makeshift lean-to plywood shack was attached to the west side of the house.  Inside were the majority of the parts from the Mustang that had been sacked, Schluer said.

Maria was charged with owning and operating a chop shop, two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, two counts of vehicle theft, two counts of receiving stolen property for the five bowling balls and the boat motor.    
Officer Marnix Lub had located the five bowling balls that had allegedly been taken out of the Bay Area.  The balls were valued at between $400 and $500 each, police said.  

Maria was transported to San Joaquin County Jail after his probation was revoked.  Otherwise bail would have been over $450,750 on the five fresh felony charges.