ATWATER — Two men were arrested early Friday morning by Atwater police on suspicion of committing auto theft.
Police believe suspects Shane Blackmun and Ricky Thao, both 22, were working together to steal cars.
About 3:30 a.m. police received a report of an auto theft in progress in the 1800 block of Pinehurst Drive. Police learned a 1996 black Honda Civic was being stolen, and witnesses told police two people had driven up to the scene in a white 1993 Toyota pickup truck, according to Lt. Sam Joseph.
Cpl. Armando Echevarria arrived at the scene and saw a vehicle matching the description of the black Honda Civic leaving the area. Echevarria pulled over the car, which was determined to be stolen, and arrested Blackmun, who had been driving the car.
Meanwhile, officer Lorin Mann spotted a white pickup truck leaving the area. Mann pulled over that vehicle, and Thao was found behind the wheel. He was taken into custody. Police learned the white pickup truck was stolen.
Thao was booked at Merced County Jail on suspicion of auto theft, a parole violation and driving on a suspended license.
Blackmun was booked on suspicion of auto theft and being an unlicensed driver.
"Both officers did a great job for the citizens of Atwater," Joseph said.