Ripon Police officers quickly located a get-away van and gave chase after several suspects broke into an Ash Avenue home shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday and made off with valuables including electronics items, ammunition and jewelry.
First Sergeant Steve Merchant said the suspects shattered a glass door to gain entrance into the residence and were last seen leaving the area in an older white van with blue or green stripes on the sides.
After receiving the initial call of the burglary in progress from dispatchers, Officer Kyle Gomes spotted the suspect vehicle leaving the neighborhood with other officers responding in an attempt to overtake the suspects.
Ripon Police Chief Ed Ormonde found the van traveling on Mohler Road, west of Ripon, and followed it into Caswell State Park. Officer Erik Boger pulled up to the scene and assisted in an attempted traffic stop.
Sgt. Merchant said the suspects failed to stop and a short pursuit ensued into the park where six individuals bailed out of the van while it was still moving, fleeing into the dense forest near the river.
One suspect was arrested after a short foot pursuit with officers combing the riparian forest area for the others. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office was contacted since the suspects had been running toward the river with that county just on the opposite bank. At about 6 p.m. the Stanislaus County deputies found two suspects hiding near Bacon Road at the Stanislaus River. Ripon units responded and took the two into custody.
Arrested were Eric Francisco Silva, 18, of Riverbank; Edgar Felix, 18, also of Riverbank; and a 17-year-old male suspect from Modesto who was booked into the San Joaquin County Juvenile Hall on felony charges that mirrored the charges of the adults: burglary, conspiracy, evasion and resisting arrest.
Some of the stolen property located in the suspects’ abandoned vehicle was identified as being from the Ripon burglary. Additional property was identified as stolen from a Manteca burglary. Manteca police investigators are working with Ripon police in the case.
Sgt. Merchant said alert neighbors keeping watch over their neighborhood combined with the emergency dispatchers’ rapid broadcast of vital information, complimented by the immediate response of the neighborhood patrol team and the swift deployment by the Stanislaus Sheriff’s deputies to the river area were the keys to capturing the suspects and recovering the property from several burglaries.
Silva and Felix are both being held in the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp in lieu of $206,500 each in bail and are scheduled to appear in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court at 1:25 p.m. today.