12 August 2014, at approx. 6:55 pm, a male subject entered Applebee’s Restaurant and attempted to purchase gift cards. However, the credit card he presented to the employee was declined.
At that point, the employee noticed the card looked fraudulent. She also noticed the subject who had presented the card, matched the description of a subject who had been using counterfeit credit cards during the past two months to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards. Another employee confirmed this was the same subject, who had been using fraudulent cards to purchase gift cards.
The manager contacted the subject and called the police department. When the first officer arrived at the restaurant, the suspect took off running, at which time a foot chase insured.
A second officer arrived in the area and located the subject hiding in some blackberry bushes, near the Lowe’s parking lot. Taken into custody was Mark Hyder, 21 of Twain Harte. Hyder complained of pain from twisting his ankle during the foot chase and hitting his head when he fell. Hyder also had several abrasions from the blackberry bushes he was hiding in.
Hyder was transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center for treatment. After being released from the hospital, Hyder was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for; felony burglary, felony theft of goods with a counterfeit access card, felony forgery of an access card, and felony violation of probation.
This is not Hyder’s first time for being arrested while using counterfeit credit cards. He was arrested on 16 June 2014, when he presented a false identification card and a counterfeit credit card to rent a hotel room in Sonora. That case is still pending. Hyder is also on felony probation for resisting an officer.
So far, it has been determined that Hyder purchased over $500 in gift cards with counterfeit credit cards at Applebee’s. This investigation is ongoing.
Archive for the ‘Press Releases’ Category
12 August 2014, at approx. 6:55 pm, a male subject entered Applebee’s Restaurant and attempted to purchase gift cards. However, the credit card he presented to the employee was declined.
Date and Time of Release: 30 July 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 19 July 2014
Subject: 2014 Central Valley Police Explorer Challenge
19 July 2014, the Sonora Police Department’s Explorer Post participated in the 2014 Central Valley Police Explorer Challenge, hosted by the Manteca Police Department and held at Ripon High School.
The challenge consisted of 35 Explorer teams from all over California and as far away as Honolulu Hawaii. The Challenge is a skills competition to pit teams of Explorers against each other, to see how much they have learned and retained from their training.
scenarios similar to calls handled by police officers. Some of the scenarios were; hostage negotiations, active shooter, domestic violence, high risk felony vehicle stops, driving under the influence, traffic stops, burglary investigation, bus assault, vehicle search, interacting with people who have mental disorders, and an obstacle course. The Explorers were evaluated on their ability to properly perform the needed actions to address the problem or resolve the situation.
Once again, The Sonora Police Department’s Explorers Post showed their knowledge and skills in several different areas. However, it’s not without excellent training and guidance from Reserve Sgt. Glenn Roberts, Officer Jake Ostoich, Officer Brandon Norris, Officer Jonathan Ma, and other members of the Sonora Police Department; along with allied law enforcement personnel in Tuolumne County, that make this program possible.
A special thanks to local business owners John Popke and Gordon Winningham, who donated time, facilities and materials to help prepare the Explorers for this event.
This year, the Sonora Police Department Explorers placed in three different events. They took first in Vehicle Search, third in DUI Investigation, and third in Bus Assaults. Below are the members of the winning teams.
First Place-Vehicle Search-Team Members
Third Place-DUI Investigation-Team Members
Third Place- Bus Assault-Team Members
This was a great day for the Sonora Police Department’s Explorers to show off what they have learned, while having the opportunity to interact with other Explorers from other areas of the State and Hawaii.
The Explorer program is part of the Boy Scouts of America. Participation in a Police Explorer program can open many doors and present many opportunities to an individual seeking a career in law enforcement. It also exposes young adults to the law enforcement environment, allowing them to determine if this is a career path they want to follow. Several people who have participated in Police Explorer programs have progressed onto rewarding careers in law enforcement.
If you are age 14-21, and interested in joining the Sonora Police Department’s Explorer program, you may call the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141 and ask to speak with Reserve Sgt. Roberts.
Date and Time of Release: 29 July 2014
Subject: Police Officer Recruitment
The Sonora Police Department is recruiting for the position of Police Officer. The position is open to Police Academy graduates and Lateral Officers. Testing will be conducted periodically, based on the needs of the Department.
The base salary is $4,292-$5,219 a month, with additional pay incentives available for Intermediate & Advanced POST certificates (2.5% each); educational incentive of 2.5% for an Associates, Bachelors and Masters degree; 5.0% incentive for special assignments (FTO, Investigator, Computer Network Manager and Traffic Officer.)
For more information about this career opportunity, log onto www.sonoraca.com and obtain a job flyer and download a job application; or you may stop by the Sonora Police Department (100 S. Green Street) or the City of Sonora (94 N. Washington Street) and pick-up a flyer and application.
Date and Time of Release: 28 July 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 9 July 2014
Subject: Fire West of Lowe’s
The Sonora Police Department’s Fire Investigative Unit has completed their investigation into the fire, which was started west of Lowe’s, on 9 July 2014.
During interviews with witnesses, the responsible party was identified as Aaron Shermer, 27, who was a resident of the homeless camp, located at the origin of the fire. Shermer is currently on probation for causing corporal injury to a cohabitant and has an extensive criminal history.
During the investigation, it was learned Shermer admitted to starting the fire. It was also learned he attempted to put the fire out, until it became too large for him to do so, at which time he fled the area. The fire burned over a quarter acre of grass and oak trees before being contained by ground and air units.
Upon the completion of the investigation, the report was sent to the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Officer requesting a complaint be filed against Shermer for felony causing a fire. The fire suppression cost was over $4,500, which Shermer could also be held responsible for.
Date and Time of Release: 17 July 2014
Subject: Recruitment for Part Time Community Service Officer (CSO)
The Sonora Police Department is recruiting for the position of “Part Time” Community Service Officer (CSO). The recruitment is being conducted to fill one “Part Time” position that is funded primarily for Animal Control Services (80%) and Vehicle Abatement (20%). The number of hours for this position is limited to 800 working hours for the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year.
If you have experience with handling domestic and wild animals, and would like to apply for this position, you may log onto www.sonoraca.com and download an application.
Applications may also be picked up at Sonora City Hall, 94 N. Washington Street, Sonora, CA, or at the Sonora Police Department, 100 S. Green Street, Sonora, CA. Faxed or emailed applications will not be accepted.
The final filing date for this position is Wednesday, 6 August, 2014, at 4:00 pm, with a testing date of Wednesday, 27 August, 2014. Testing will be comprised of both a written and oral test.
Date and Time of Release: 14 July 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 11 July 2014, at approx. 9:18 am
Subject: Child Endangerment
11 July 2014, at approx. 9:18 am, an Officer responded to a medical office located on the 100 block of Shepherd Street, regarding a two year old child who had been located wondering around the street. The male child was only wearing a dirty diaper and carrying a knife. The child had recently turned two.
The witness who located the child attempted to locate the parents for several minutes. When she was unable to locate the parents, she dropped the child off at a medical office, and then went back out looking for the parents.
The witness contacted a male subject in a creek and asked him if he was looking for a child. The male subject was evasive and stated he didn’t know. The witness followed the male subject to a residence on Brookside Place, where another male subject came out, who was watching the child.
The police department identified this subject as 32 year old Johnnie Schriver of Sonora. Schriver related he was watching the two year old and felt the child was in the backyard playing. However, when he went out to check on the child, the child was missing and the side gate was open.
Schriver claimed the child was only missing for approx. 10 minutes, but officers determined it was over 20 minutes. The child was turned over to Child Welfare Services. A report was submitted to the Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office for review for the charge of child endangerment.
Date and Time of Release: 12 July 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 9 July 2014, at approx 12:01 pm
9 July 2014, City, County, and State fire units responded to a vegetation fire located north of Highway 108, west of Lowe’s. The fire consumed approx. a ¼ acre of grass and oak vegetation, located near a homeless camp.
Following the fire suppression efforts, the Sonora Police Department’s Fire Investigation Unit started an investigation into the cause and origin of the fire. The cause was determined to be from an unattended cooking fire, which had no fire pit dug for the fire, or clearance around it from the extremely dry vegetation. The fire was merely built on top of the ground, in dry vegetation, by one of the residents of the homeless camp.
The Fire Investigation Unit is now attempting to identify and located the person(s) who were responsible for the camp fire. If identified, they could be arrested for unlawfully causing a fire.
The investigation into this matter is ongoing.
Date and Time of Release: 8 July 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 7 July 2014 at 10:22 am
Subject: Stolen Property Arrest
7 July 2014, at approx. 10:22 am, Officers responded to a reported suspicious person and vehicle parked in the area of 940 Sylva Lane. A male subject had been observed exiting a Chevrolet Blazer, which was parked behind some brush, towards the rear of a medical office.
When officers arrived, they contacted Klinton Gregson, 35 of Sonora. A check on the vehicle revealed it was stolen out of Tuolumne County. During the officer’s contact with Gregson, Gregson admitted to stealing the vehicle.
Gregson was taken into custody without incident and booked at the Tuolumne County jail for felony possession of stolen property.
Date of Release: 20 June 2014
Date of Incident: 18 & 19 June 2014
Date of Original Crime: 16 February 2014
Subject: Homicide Arrest
18 June 2014, a Detective from the Sonora Police Department and a Sergeant from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department contacted Cheryl Lucero, 45 of Twain Harte, who was a person of interest in regards to the Ricky Roberts homicide investigation. Lucero was also an acquaintance of Roberts.
During their contact with Lucero, Lucero admitted to her involvement in the Roberts homicide. Following the interview with Lucero, she was arrested without incident and booked into the Tuolumne County Jail for homicide. Bail has been set at one million dollars.
19 June 2014, a search warrant was acquired and served at Lucero’s residence in Twain Harte, where items of evidence were seized. These items have been submitted to the California Department of Justice Lab in Ripon for forensic analysis.
Date and Time of Release: 17 June 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 16 June 2014, at approx. 11:22 pm
Subject: Counterfeit Access Card Arrest
16 June 2014, at approx. 11:22 pm, Officers responded to the Inns of California, as the clerk reported smelling marijuana coming from a room she had recently rented.
When officers arrived, they contacted the clerk. The clerk told officers that the male subject renting the room in question presented her with a debit card, which was declined. He then presented her with a second card, which was accepted. The subject also used a New York driver’s license for identification to rent the room. The clerk was suspicious of all the items, as they were flimsy.
Officers contacted three subjects inside the room in question. The officers could smell a strong odor of burnt marijuana inside the room. It was determined none of the occupants in the room had a medical recommendation to possess or use marijuana.
One of the subjects in the room was identified as Mark Hyder, 21 of Twain Harte. Hyder also claimed to have rented the room. When asked to see the card he used to rent the room with, Hyder claimed it was outside.
A records check showed Hyder was on probation out of Tuolumne County for resisting a public officer. Hyder was also wearing an ankle bracelet monitor. A search of Hyder’s wallet revealed a New York identification card, with someone else’s name and photo on it, along with three (3) counterfeit money cards. It was determined that the other two occupants in the room had no knowledge that Hyder had used a counterfeit card or false identification to rent the room.
Hyder was taken into custody without incident. He was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony false impersonation of another; felony using a forged access card; felony burglary; and felony violation of probation.
Date and Time of Release: 9 June 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 7 June 2014, at approx. 1:15 pm
Subject: Vehicle vs. Pedestrian Accident
7 June 2014, at approx. 1:15 pm, emergency personnel responded to the east entrance/exit of the Sonora Plaza for a reported vehicle vs. pedestrian accident.
Diana Greener, 54, and Arthur Greener, 69, both of Sonora, were walking northbound on the west sidewalk of Greenley Road, at the east entrance/exit of the Sonora Plaza. Charlene Chapman, 32 of Jamestown, was driving a 1999 Jeep Cherokee eastbound through the parking lot of the Sonora Plaza.
When Chapman reached Greenley Road, she stopped momentarily to check for traffic, but she failed to see the pedestrians crossing in front of her. As Chapman moved forward to enter Greenley Road, she struck Dianna Greener, knocking her down, then running her over. Dianna Greener was forced into Arthur Greener as she fell, and Arthur was knocked to the ground as well.
Dianna sustained major injuries to her head and legs. Because of the extent of her injuries, Dianna was flown to a Modesto hospital for treatment. Arthur was transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center for treatment for injuries to his side and back.
This matter is still under investigation.
June 3, 2014
MADD California Salute Heroes At
2014 Law Enforcement & Community Recognition Dinner
SACRAMENTO – Individuals, agencies and organizations from across the state were honored Saturday by MADD California for their work and dedication to Eliminate Drunk Driving. The 17th Anniversary of the MADD California Statewide Law Enforcement & Community Recognition Dinner – “Together We Make the Difference”, was held on May 31, 2014, at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento. MADD recognized law enforcement officials, government agencies and community advocates from throughout the state, who have gone beyond the call of duty to combat drunk driving, educate the public on the effects of this violent crime and who have done their part in maintaining safer roadways and communities.
Over 550 people were in attendance from 50 of California’s 58 counties to attend this prestigious gala. Awards are given to individual officers, departments, state park agencies, media, and community partners whose actions and policies are aligned with our mission to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking.
“The officers recognized with the MADD California Hero Award are experts in the field of impaired driving enforcement. They are leaders in the department in arrests, prevention efforts, and training. Over 130 officers were recognized for the efforts over the last year and we believe that all of the officers have certainly saved lives by removing impaired drivers from California’s roads,” said Aaron Wade, MADD California Program Specialist.
Officer Jonathan Ma of the Sonora Police Department. Officer Ma was recognized for his positive impact he had in his community during 2013, by his focus on removing impaired drivers from the streets of Sonora. Officer Ma made 38 impaired driving arrests during 2013.
Unfortunately, Sonora has one of the highest impaired driving accident rates in the State of California for cities with a population of 25,000 or less. In 2011, Sonora was ranked as having the third highest impaired driving accident rate, out of 64 cities, in this category.
The California Statewide Law Enforcement & Community Recognition event is not just an awards ceremony; it is a powerful medium acknowledging the courage and strength of the members of our community who stand up every day to make us safer. Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
MADD is a non-profit organization with approximately 2 million members and supporters and 600 affiliates nationwide. MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. To learn more, contact your local MADD affiliate or visit www.madd.org.
Please remember—DUI crashes are not “accidents.”
Date and Time of Release: 28 May 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 28 May 2014, at approx. 8:00 am
Subject: Vehicle VS. Pedestrian Accident
28 May 2014, at approx. 8:00 am, emergency personnel responded to Church Street near Barretta Street for a reported vehicle vs. pedestrian accident.
Staci Criswell, 47 of Sonora, was operating a 2004 Hyundai eastbound on Church Street between 20-25 miles per hour, when she failed to see Thomas Belcher, 51 of Sonora, who was crossing the roadway in front of her.
Belcher uses a cane to assist him in walking and had crossed three quarters of the roadway before being struck by Criswell’s vehicle. Criswell stated she didn’t observed Belcher in the roadway until the last second because he sun was in her eyes.
Belcher sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Date and Time of Release: 28 May 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 26 May 2014, at approx. 2:26 pm
Subject: Injury Accident
26 May 2014, at approx. 2:26 pm, emergency personnel responded to Mono Way, in the area of Timberhills shopping center, for a reported injury accident.
During the investigation, it was determined that Georgiana Rogers, 71 of Sonora, was exiting the Timberhills Shopping Center in a 2007 Saturn SUV, and was preparing to make a left turn onto Mono Way to travel westbound.
Steven Olley, 23 of Sonora, was traveling eastbound on Mono Way in a 1991 Acura sedan. As Rogers pulled onto Mono Way, she failed to see Olley’s vehicle approaching and she collided with it.
Because of the extensive damage both drivers had to be extricated from their vehicles by fire personnel. Both drivers were transported by ambulance to Sonora Regional Medical Center for treatment.
It has been determined that Rogers caused this collision by not yielding the right of away to oncoming traffic.
Date and Time of Release: 23 May 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 22 May 2014, at approx. 5:30 pm
Subject: Two Arrested For DUI Following An Injury Accident
22 May 2014, at approx. 5:30 pm, Officers from the Sonora Police Department responded to Stewart Street, near the intersection of Lytton Street, for a reported injury accident.
Officers determined that Paula Lopez, 61 of Sonora, was driving northbound on Stewart Street in a 2006 Chevy sedan, and her son, Zachary Lopez, 21 of Sonora, was sitting in the front passenger seat.
While traveling down the roadway, they started arguing over how fast Paula Lopez was driving. Zachary Lopez then grabbed the steering wheel and jerked it to slow the vehicle down. This caused their vehicle to go out of control and collide with a parked vehicle on the eastside of the roadway. Several witnesses stated Lopez’s vehicle was traveling erratically prior to the collision.
Both Paula and Zachary Lopez were showing signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance at the scene of the accident. They also complained of pain as a result of the accident. Both were transported to Sonora Regional Medical Center where they were treated and released.
Barbara Lopez was arrested and booked at the Tuolumne County Jail for driving under the influence of a controlled substance, and for operating a vehicle without a valid drivers’ license. Because Zachary Lopez grabbed the steering wheel, causing the vehicle to crash into a parked vehicle, he too was arrested and booked for driving under the influence of a controlled substance.
Date and Time of Release: 23 May 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 22 May 2014 at approx. 9:30 pm
Subject: Drug & Stolen Property Arrest
22 May 2014, at approx. 9:30 pm, an Officer was dispatched to a residence on the 400 block of Snell Street regarding a suspicious vehicle parked in a driveway. When the officer arrived, they contacted Barbara Deckert, 52 of Snelling, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle.
During the Officers contact, he noticed that the front license plate on the vehicle didn’t match the rear license plate. Later, the Officer was able to determine the back license plate was stolen and that Decker had an outstanding warrant out of Merced County for a drug violation.
Also, during the Officers contact with Deckert, she attempted to remove a white plastic grocery bag from inside the vehicle and conceal it on her person. However, the Officer observed this and seized the bag. The bag was determined to contain 4.2 grams of methamphetamine.
Deckert was taken into custody without incident. She was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for; felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of stolen property.
Date and Time of Release: 15 May 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 14 May 2014
Subject: Warrant Arrest & Search Warrant
3 April 2014, The Sonora Police Department served a search warrant on a residence located on Birch Street in Tuolumne City. The warrant was the result of the Police Department receiving information that Dean Bennett 49, was staying at the location and was in possession of several firearms, which he was restricted from owning or having access to as the result of a felony conviction.
The search warrant resulted in several firearms being seized. Methamphetamine was also located inside the residence. Bennett was not at the residence at the time, but Janice Ednes 58, was and she was taken into custody for possession of methamphetamine. Later, a felony arrest warrant was issued for Bennett, as a result of the search warrant.
14 May 2014, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department received information that Bennett was back at the Birch Street residence. The Sheriff’s Department surrounded the residence and after approximately half an hour, Bennett exited the residence and was taken into custody on the outstanding felony warrant. Also arrested was Ednes for harboring Bennett.
Another search warrant was obtained for the residence by the Police Department. Items located inside the residence this time were; a sawed off shotgun with a sling full of shotgun shells, a walking cane concealing a knife, a large amount of ammunition, methamphetamine, and glass methamphetamine smoking pipes.
Bennett was booked on the arrest warrant from the April search warrant, along with fresh charges of; being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a sawed off shotgun, felon in possession of ammunition, and felony possession of methamphetamine. Bennett’s total bail is 225,000.
Date and Time of Release: 7 May 2014
Date and Time of Incident: Saturday, 10 May 2014
Subject: Round-Up Parade Street Closures and No Parking Zones
Saturday, 10th May 2014, will be the annual Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Posse, Mother Lode Round-Up Parade. This event draws thousands of visitors to the downtown area of Sonora each year.
Several streets will be closed before and during the parade, which people need to keep in mind if they are planning on attending the parade or trying to get through town. Detours will be posted for those streets that are closed. The following are the major street closures;
South Washington Street at State Highway 108 will be closed at 8:00 am.
North and South Washington Street will be closed at 9:30 am.
Stockton Road at Green Street will be closed at 9:30 am.
Snell Street at Bonanza Street will be closed at 9:30 am.
School Street between Washington Street and Snell Street will be closed at 9:00 am.
“No parking” will be allowed on Washington Street from Elkin Street to Toby Street, between 5 am and the end of the parade. “No parking” will be allowed on Stockton Road between Washington Street and 70 Stockton Road between, 5 am and the end of the parade. Special signs have been posted for these “No parking” zones. Unfortunately, if you park in these areas your vehicle will be towed.
If you are planning on attending the parade, the Sonora Police Department encourages you to arrive prior to 9:00 am to save yourself some aggravation and allow you timeRound-Up Map to find parking.
Once again this year, there will be “No Parking” allowed on the side streets between Washington Street and Green Street and between Washington Street and Stewart Street. This will include Elkin Street, Dodge Street, Jackson Street, Yaney Street, Bradford Street, Theall Street, Linoberg Street Church Street, June Street, Gold Street, Williams Street and Lytton Street. These restrictions will start at 5:00 am and will conclude at the end of the parade. Vehicles parked in these areas will be towed.
Following the conclusion of the parade, the parade route will remain closed for approx. 10-15 minutes to allow spectators to leave the area. Motorists can expect heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the conclusion of the parade resulting in delays.
If you have any questions, you may call the Sonora Police Department at 532-8141.
Date and Time of Release: 6 May 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 5 May 2014, at approx. 5:58 am
Subject: Burglary Arrest
5 May 2014, at approx. 5:58 am, the owner of a business located on S. Forrest Road, called the police department and reported he had located a male subject inside his business.
When officers arrived, they detained Jesse Newton, 22 of Sonora. Officers then spoke with the business owner. The owner related when he entered the business, he could smell a strange odor inside the business office, which smelled like an un-kept person.
As he walked further into the office, he located a male subject sleeping in a chair. Most of the office had been ransacked and some items had been placed in a pile, including two checkbooks. The business owner woke Newton up, who walked towards the door, but then sat back down, never saying anything.
Newton was placed under arrest for felony burglary and felony possession of heroin, and transported to the Tuolumne County Jail. At the jail, a set of keys from inside the victim’s business was located inside one of Newton’s socks. Newton was booked for the above charges and for felony possession of stolen property.
It is believed that while Newton was inside the business, he ingested some heroin which made him drowsy and caused him to fall asleep.
Date and Time of Release: 5 May 2014
Date and Time of Incident: 3 May 2014, at approx. 10:57 am
Subject: Drug Arrest
3 May 2014, at approx. 10:57 am, an Officer responded to the Inns of California for a report that a wanted person was staying at the hotel. The wanted person was Gina Cook, 34 of Jamestown, who had two felony warrants for her arrest, one being a no bail warrant for narcotic violations.
When the officer arrived, Cook was in the backseat of a cab preparing to leave the area. Cook attempted to run to avoid arrest, but was quickly apprehended. Cook was found to be in possession of 3.1 grams of methamphetamine, a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine, and scales.
Cook was transported to the Tuolumne County Jail and booked for felony possession of methamphetamine with the intent to sell, felony violation of probation, felony committing a felony while out on bail, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor resisting arrest, along with the two outstanding felony warrants.