Fast work by deputy helps nab suspected burglars near Riverbank

Two people suspected of trying to burglarize a home near Riverbank were arrested Wednesday, thanks to the help of a quick-thinking deputy and two police dogs.

Deputy Jason Cook of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department responded to a report of a residential burglary on Langworth Road at 3 p.m.

A person who lived there came home to find a strange vehicle parked in the driveway outside the gate. The resident then saw a man running from the house.

When Cook arrived, he checked the area and waited for other deputies. He noticed several items strewn around the back yard, including two TVs, three laptops, iPods, cameras and a Wii game system.

He also saw fresh footprints.

When K-9 teams arrived, they began searching the area. After a milelong search that lasted an hour, deputy Lloyd MacKinnon and canine partner Kiko found 34-year-old Sergio Gomez of Oakdale. They were assisted by deputy Brock Condit and canine partner Gizmo.

While deputies were at the burglary scene, they noticed a vehicle with two occupants driving around the area.

Deputies stopped the car and questioned the occupants, who initially denied involvement in the burglary. Later, one of them, Rochelle Pitassi, 48, of Oakdale, said she received a call from Gomez asking her to pick him up.

Gomez and Pitassi were arrested on suspicion of residential burglary. Pitassi also was held for investigation of being an accessory after the fact to a felony.

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