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Manteca High students suspects in incidents at East Union, Sierra, & Lathrop high schools
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Three Manteca High students have been arrested on suspicion of thefts and vandalism at Lathrop High, Sierra High, and East Union High over the course of several weeks that is expected to cost in excess of $60,000.

Those involved caused tens of thousands in damage and took more than $20,000 worth of electronics from Lathrop High School alone.

When Lathrop Police began investigating a burglary at Lathrop High School last month, they had no idea that the perpetrators had previously hit both Sierra High School and East Union High School. In less than a week they had the suspects in custody.

Calvin Ramsey and Dominik Neuharth, both 18, were arrested along with a juvenile after Lathrop detectives tracked down a stolen Canon camera that was for sale on and arranged and undercover meet to purchase it. After taking that suspect into custody a number of search warrants were served – three in Manteca and one in Lathrop. Nearly all of the merchandise stolen from Lathrop High School was recovered as were items that were traced back to Sierra High School.

“It was a pretty remarkable amount that was taken – it’s not something that just be ignored or easily replaced,” said Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann who credited the quick work of the detectives to find the merchandise before it was sold. “It was three hours before we were notified that a burglary was taking place, and in that time, they were able to steal a 70-inch television – that’s not something that’s easy to walk away with.

“Fortunately, we have some savvy detectives and they started looking at the different sites and they set up a buy and it snowballed from there. It’s rare that we recover nearly every piece of stolen property from something like this, but we were able to.”

Biedermann said that a close relationship between Lathrop Police and administration at Lathrop High School helped move things along and lead to a break in the case – providing access to serial numbers, video footage, and information that proved to be integral in the early days of the investigation.

While detectives worked nearly 16-hours-a-day to start piecing together the leads and writing the warrants that led to the recovered property, the arrests came about a week after it was first reported – a testament, Biedermann said, to the dedication of the detectives working the case.

While windows were broken at Lathrop High School during the burglary – Biedermann said it was apparent that it was young people because the destruction seemed intentional and without any real connection to the theft. The damage was much more extensive at both Sierra High School and East Union High School, and the graffiti left behind hinted at something more personal than just a crime of opportunity.

While he didn’t have an exact estimate for the damage caused at the multiple sites – his agency is handling the Lathrop High burglary – he estimated that it could be as high as $100,000 when everything is replaced and refreshed.

“What didn’t make any sense was when we went to their houses it didn’t seem like crimes that these kids were committing because they needed to – they appeared to come from good homes and from decent families and some of those families are going to have to settle this restitution,” Biedermann said. “It’s a good thing that we were dealing with novices and they didn’t quite know how to move this stuff quickly and we were able to recover most of it.”

Lathrop detectives were unable to recover a pair of DSLR cameras that were sold before they made their first arrest as well as a 50-inch television and several laptop computers.


Sierra hasn’t tabulated all of those losses and damages but preliminary figures put it at least $20,000 to $25,000. About a dozen windows were broken, camera wires cut, graffiti, items stolen or damages, a dozen tires slashed, and the pool rained and refilled.

East Union sustained the least damage. The damage at that campus required six individuals working four hours to clean up.

Neuharth is currently in custody at the San Joaquin County Jail where he is being held on $550,000 bail on charges of felony vandalism, first degree burglary, and felony receiving stolen property. He is due in court today in Manteca at 1:25 p.m. Ramsey is not currently in custody but is facing similar charges. The identity of the juvenile has not been released by law enforcement.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.