Clovis News

Briefs: 1 of 3 held in Merced home invasion

One of three men accused of taking part in a Merced home invasion Monday evening was arrested, according to authorities.

About 8 p.m., two men forced themselves through the front door of a home on East 23rd Street, the Merced Police Department said.

While one tackled a man in the house, the other began grabbing items. Afterward, they ran back outside where one man jumped in the passenger side of a silver, 2-door sedan that was driven by another person, according to police.

The man left behind proceeded to run away to a backyard about a block away where police found him in possession of some of the stolen items. He was arrested on several counts including home invasion robbery, resisting arrest and possession of stolen property, police said. The other two suspects are still at large

4 teens arrested in Tulare Co. vandalism

Tulare County sheriff's investigators have arrested four teenagers accused of vandalizing two Earlimart schools and causing about $5,000 in damage.

On Thursday and Friday, walls and windows throughout Earlimart Middle School and Earlimart Elementary School were spray-painted with the names of local gangs, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

The teens were arrested Saturday when they went to one of the schools as police were watching it, authorities said. The teens -- ages 13, 14, 15 and 16 -- are all from Earlimart.

Detectives searched their homes on the 800 block of Oak Street and the 400 block of Thompson Street. They found spray paint believed to have been used at the schools, along with gang signs and markings.

Pair victimize vendor

A father-and-son accused of showing a fake badge to a street vendor before stealing $250 from him were arrested Sunday in southeast Fresno, police said.

On Saturday, a 52-year-old man and his 25-year-old son saw the vendor selling CDs in front of their apartment on the 500 block of South Backer Avenue. The father approached the vendor, showed him a gold badge and told him that he was in possession of illegal CDs. The men then said they would need to confiscate the CDs or take the vendor to jail, police said.

The son placed the man's hands behind his back while the father took $250 from the vendor's pockets. The two left with the CDs and cash, police said.

Police found and arrested the men Sunday. Police said they discovered that both are bail bondsmen and were looking to take advantage of the vendor, who spoke only Spanish.


Clovis man pleads guilty to tax evasion

Clovis resident David J. Edwards on Monday pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion in U.S. District Court in Fresno.

Prosecutors said Edwards, 74, took steps between Oct. 18, 1980, and Nov. 1, 2005, to evade 1999 income taxes of approximately $205,456.

Edwards admitted that he submitted "bills of exchange" and other documents in lieu of payment, concealed the nature and extent of his assets, attempted to place funds and property beyond the reach of the federal Internal Revenue Service, and concealed property and funds under the names of others.

Edwards is a doctor with the medical offices of Sunnyside Medical, 360 S. Clovis Ave. in Clovis.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill set sentencing for March 29. Edwards faces up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Also ...

Meeting draws 150 to Easton donut shop

The second Neighborhood Watch meeting in Easton in three days drew an overflow crowd of about 150 people plus Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims to K&C Donut Shop on Monday evening.

Like Saturday's meeting that drew about three dozen, officials from the Sheriff's Office and Neighborhood Watch gave an update on a recent crime spree in the community. In the past two weeks, there have been at least six home break-ins in the area.

Detective Mike Quintanilla said the latest, on Saturday, was not related to at least five clustered around the New Year's weekend, culminating with a break-in that was foiled when the homeowner fired a shot at the thieves.

CHP honors a man who saved a driver

The California Highway Patrol office in Fresno honored Ted Escalante, 41, of Clovis for saving a driver from a burning vehicle.

Escalante came upon a vehicle that had gone out of control and crashed off Highway 99 near Central Avenue about 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 29, 2009, the CHP said.

The vehicle was on fire and the driver was unconscious. The vehicle doors were locked, and other witnesses were trying to break the windows.

Escalante grabbed a hammer from his vehicle, broke a window and cut the driver's seatbelt. He and other witnesses pulled the driver free.