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Nativity scene vandals collared
Pair charged with stealing bicycles, Christmas lights in Ripon
Nativity Ripon Angel 1  Pic copy
A statue of the Blessed Mother was destroyed in a nativity scene on a Ripon front lawn at 3 a.m. Saturday. Michael Peter Johnson, left photo, and Steven Everett Johnson were arrested in connection with the incident. - photo by PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

Quick response by Ripon Police officers shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday resulted in the arrest of two men who allegedly trashed a Nativity Scene at a Ripon home on Mohler Road – kicking off the head of a 5-foot statue of the Virgin Mary.
The officers were responding to a call from a neighbor reporting two suspicious individuals in his neighborhood riding bicycles that were later found to be stolen from other Ripon homes.  Christmas lights in their possession were found to have been stolen from another Ripon residence.
Michael Peter Johnson, 21, of Manteca was booked into county jail on charges that included petty theft, vandalism and an outstanding warrant. Stephen Everett Johnson, 35, of Tracy was booked into the county jail on charges that included possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, petty theft and public intoxication.
The caller said he had told the police dispatcher that the men were then knocking on the door of a residence in the 1000 block of Kelcie Drive where they were reportedly asking the homeowner about drugs at the residence.  The duo was soon located on Doak Boulevard – the east-west southern arterial in the community. 
Ripon Police Department spokesman Lt. Steve Merchant commended the citizen who immediately called the police when the suspicious activity was observed in his neighborhood.  

To contact Glenn Kahl, email