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Sheriff Pazin captures alleged burglars at gunpoint

Suspects Samuel White (pictured), 35, and Priscilla Perez, 24, were arrested by Pazin not long after the Merced County Sheriff's dispatcher received a 7 a.m. call about a burglary in progress in the 900 block of North East Bear Creek.
Suspects Samuel White (pictured), 35, and Priscilla Perez, 24, were arrested by Pazin not long after the Merced County Sheriff's dispatcher received a 7 a.m. call about a burglary in progress in the 900 block of North East Bear Creek.

Two people accused of burglary are in custody after being personally busted Monday morning by Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin.

Suspects Samuel White, 35, and Priscilla Perez, 24, were arrested by Pazin not long after Merced County Sheriff's dispatch received a 7 a.m. call about a burglary in progress in the 900 block of North East Bear Creek.

The property's caretaker came to check on a vacant house for sale, and witnessed the suspects trying to steal copper pipes from the basement of the house, according to Deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.

The suspects took off, and as dispatchers were putting out a description, Pazin happened to be in the area and spotted the suspects on the bike path along Bear Creek. Pazin detained Perez and White at gunpoint and placed them under arrest. The pair were turned over to detectives for follow-up interviews.

After Detective Erick Macias interviewed both suspects, they admitted to trying to steal the copper pipes. They also admitted to being responsible for a similar theft, MacKenzie said.

When the suspects were taken into custody by Pazin, they had in their possession a backpack containing bolt cutters, saws and other tools commonly associated with burglary. The suspects were booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of burglary and possession of burglar tools. They are being held in lieu of $51,000 bail.

It's not the first time Pazin has personally arrested someone during his time as sheriff. In 2007 Pazin, along with two deputies who responded as backup, arrested wanted Stanislaus County fugitive Lonnie Don Garner in Hilmar. Garner was a wanted escapee from Stanislaus County Jail.

— Sun-Star staff

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