Crime

He gave Merced police his ID. Then he tried to run and hide in a backyard, officers say

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A Merced man was arrested this week with a gun, trying to hide from police in someone else’s backyard, police said on Friday.

An officer stopped 21-year-old Cruz Villegas near N and 11th streets about 7:39 p.m. on Thursday, and asked for ID, police said. After providing ID, Villages fled on foot, dropping two fully loaded handgun magazines while running.

Officers set up a perimeter and ultimately found him hiding in a backyard in the 600 block of W. 11th Street, police said. In the backyard, police said, officers also found a Glock 26 9mm handgun and a loaded 30 round magazine.

Villegas is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing any firearms, police said. He was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and a felon in possession of ammunition.

A validated gang member who is on probation, Villegas is held at Merced County Jail without bail, according to jail records.

Merced Police are asking anyone with any information regarding this incident to contact the Merced Police Department at 209-385-6912 or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at 209-385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing “TIP411” (847411) and including the word “Comvip” as the “keyword” in the text message.

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