Trio arrested in Atwater on drug, theft charges

Merced Sun StarAugust 11, 2013 

— Three people were arrested this week on suspicion of driving a stolen car and drug possession after the vehicle they were in was stopped by an Atwater officer, police reported Thursday.

The incident happened just after 9 p.m. Wednesday when officer David Walker spotted Erika Tolentino, 22, driving a gray Honda Civic on Palora Street near Sowell Street, according to Lt. Samuel Joseph.

The officer had been searching for Tolentino, wanted on several felony arrest warrants for property crimes.

Walker pulled over the vehicle in the 2000 block of West Bellevue Road. With the assistance of additional officers, Tolentino was removed from the vehicle and arrested.

Two others inside the car, Shane Blackmun, 22, and Manuel Garza, 32, were detained.

Police confirmed the car had been stolen from the Merced area. Inside the car police found a broken glass pipe, a scale and methamphetamine.

All three of the suspects were booked at the Merced County Jail for investigation of a variety of charges, including possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, felony violation of probation and three felony warrants that include burglary and auto theft.

Joseph said all three suspects have had extensive contact with law enforcement.

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