Crime

Atwater man arrested for second time in one week, according to police

Jose Maldonado, 23, of Atwater. Photo courtesy of the Atwater Police Department.
Jose Maldonado, 23, of Atwater. Photo courtesy of the Atwater Police Department.

An Atwater man has been arrested for a second time in one week, according to authorities.

Jose Maldonado, 23, was arrested Tuesday morning in the 5400 block of Vine Street in Atwater. Tuesday’s arrest comes six days after police arrested Maldonado on Nov. 28, on suspicion of motor vehicle theft of five different vehicles over a two-week span, police said in a news release.

Both arrests were made by Officer Ken Lee, police said in the statement.

The officer spotted Maldonado walking with power tools in his arms in the 5400 block of Vine Street. Maldonado was arrested after the officer located heroin, according to a news release.

Upon further investigation, police say they discovered a stolen green Honda Civic at the scene and Maldonado was found to be in possession of tools stolen from a nearby residence that had been broken into in the 5400 block of Vine Street.

Authorities say the tools were later returned to the owner and Maldonado was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of burglary, two counts of stolen property, possession of a controlled substance and grand theft auto.

Maldonado was previously arrested by authorities just six days earlier after he was spotted in the area of two stolen vehicles. Police say Maldonado was seen walking in the area where Officer Lee located a stolen black Honda Civic in the 2200 block of Olive Avenue on Nov. 28.

Later that day, Officer Lee saw Maldonado on foot in the 2000 block of Olive Avenue where he located a blue Honda that had been stolen from Walmart that afternoon, police said.

Authorities say the auto theft at Walmart was captured on video and Maldonado was detained based on his resemblance to one of the suspects.

Maldonado was found to be in possession of a shaved key, which police say is commonly used to steal cars. A cellphone left behind in one of the stolen vehicles also linked Maldonado to the crime, authorities said.

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