Merced County Sheriff's deputies are seeking the arrest of a 61-year-old Ballico man wanted on suspicion of burglary and auto theft -- and they're asking the public for help in finding him.
Deputies responded to a call of a suspicious person on April 26 in Ballico and found suspect Gary Lee Tyson stumbling intoxicated in an orchard, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.
An ambulance was called because Tyson was extremely intoxicated. He was taken to Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock for his own safety, MacKenzie said. At that time, the only crime Tyson had committed was public intoxication.
Once released from the hospital, however, Tyson allegedly stole a vehicle from the parking lot. Deputies went to his home in the 12000 block of Newport Road in Ballico and found the stolen car parked there. The suspect, however, was nowhere to be found.
After finding the stolen car, sheriff's dispatch received a call about a burglary near the orchard where Tyson was found. Deputies responded to the scene and found Tyson's car. Inside were jewelry and other items from the residence. Deputies also found indications Tyson had drank some alcohol from inside the victim's home. He also left some of his personal items inside the victim's house, MacKenzie said.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Tyson. He is described as a white male, 5-feet-11-inches tall and 175 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes.
Deputies are asking anyone with information about his whereabouts to call (209) 385-7444. Calls are kept confidential and you can remain anonymous.
-- Victor A. Patton