Atwater police say officers recovered at least half a dozen stolen vehicles Sunday and Monday, making six arrests in the process, including two juveniles.
Police arrested two boys, ages 14 and 15, about 4 a.m. Monday in the 2600 block of First Street. Investigators said the teenagers were involved in stealing at least two vehicles, a Honda and an Acura. Both vehicles were recovered Monday morning, Lt. Samuel Joseph said.
“We recovered a lot of vehicles this weekend, but, no, we’re not seeing any unusual increases in the amount of vehicles that are being stolen in Atwater,” Joseph said. “Almost all of these vehicles this weekend were reported stolen from other parts of the county and brought here by people who were looking to commit other crimes and just got caught.”
Both teenagers were booked into the Iris Garret Juvenile Justice Correctional Complex on suspicion of vehicle theft, receiving stolen property and possession of burglary tools, police said.
Atwater police on Sunday also arrested a 30-year-old Livingston man who allegedly was driving a stolen 2011 Buick Regal.
Officers tried to stop the vehicle about 12:45 p.m. Sunday on Fruitland Road, but the driver sped away. About 24 seconds later the driver, later identified as Jay R. Wedel, crashed into a parked car and was arrested, officers said.
Wedel was booked into the Merced County jail on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, automobile theft, evading arrest, driving on a suspended license and two felony warrants. Wedel was still in custody Monday without bail, according to booking records.
Both vehicles sustained unspecified “moderate” damage, but police said there were no injuries.
Atwater police recovered three more stolen vehicles about 4:40 p.m. Sunday at Camellia Park Mobile Homes, 2355 Atwater Blvd.
Danny Delatorre, 22, of Atwater; Gary W. Cooper, 31, of Merced; and Nicole Jacobs, 30, of Atwater, were arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft. Officers said all three suspects were dismantling the vehicles for parts when they were taken into custody.
Police said Cooper resisted officers briefly and was taken to the ground before he was placed in custody.
Cooper and Jacobs were still in custody Monday, but Delatorre posted bail a few hours after his arrest and was released, according to booking records.