Crime

Merced sheriff’s K9 sniffs out suspect in motor sports shop burglary, police say

A Sacramento man and Fresno woman were arrested by Merced police with the help of a sheriff’s K9 after police said they burglarized a motorcycle and ATV shop before leading authorities on a vehicle pursuit.

Merced police officers responded to a tripped security alarm at about 1:40 a.m. Monday at Merced Powersports, 265 W. 15th St. in Merced, Lt. Alan Ward said.

Officers spotted a vehicle leaving the business without its lights on. But when they tried to stop the vehicle, it took off, Ward said.

MUG_EliseRui_fitted.jpeg
Courtesy Merced County Sheriff's Office

Officers pursued the car through Merced to northbound Highway 99 until the vehicle crashed near Highway 99 and Winton Parkway, according to a Merced County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Stolen generators were found inside the car, Ward said.

Authorities arrested Ruiz, but Monares fled on foot. Law enforcement set up a perimeter around the area while Merced County K9 Vito and his handler, Deputy Curtis Rouse, tracked Monares.

Vito picked up Monares’ scent and found him nearby hiding in some bushes, authorities said.

Monares was arrested and booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of commercial burglary, possessing stolen property and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Ruiz was arrested and booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of commercial burglary, possessing stolen property, and evading and obstructing officers.

Vikaas Shanker is an award-winning reporter covering education, crime and courts for the Merced Sun-Star and Los Banos Enterprise. After growing up in Naperville, Illinois and graduating from the University of Kansas, he reported in several Chicago suburbs before moving to Merced County in 2016.
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