ATWATER PD’S DANGEROUS CRIMINAL APPREHENSION TEAM ARRESTS THREE

Atwater Police Department Lt. Samuel Joseph has recently been given the task to assign a team to deal with dangerous criminals in the city. Atwater PD officers Dave Walker and Levi Crain were recently selected as the two officers who will form a newly created criminal apprehension team for the department. The assignment is a collateral duty assignment in addition to their regular patrol duties. The first day of their assignment began on June 18th with the following results:

Pedro Rangel
Pedro Rangel

Officers Walker and Crain contacted Pedro Rangel (34) in the area of Grove and Winton Way. Rangel was on a bicycle and is a known probationer out of Merced County. Upon contacting him, Officer Walker asked if he had any weapons on him. Rangel then removed a large fix bladed knife that was concealed in his waistband. The knife was seized and Rangel was taken into custody without incident. He was booked into Merced County Jail on the charges of possessing a dirk or dagger and a probation violation.

Samuel Rojas
Samuel Rojas

Officers Walker and Crain then conducted an investigation at the Valley Motel. They discovered that Samuel Rojas (33), was on active probation. They conducted a knock and talk and contacted Rojas in one of the rooms. While talking with him, he showed signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance. An evaluation was conducted and it was determined that he was in fact under the influence. He was taken into custody and booked into Merced County Jail for being under the influence.

Officers Walker and Crain were in the area of Shaffer and Atwater Blvd when they noticed a vehicle that matched the description of a reported stolen vehicle.  The vehicle was recovered the day before and reported stolen again on June 18th.

Tito Lara
Tito Lara

Officers drove toward the vehicle in the parking lot of Circle K as the vehicle was moving. The vehicle was confirmed stolen and a felony vehicle stop ensued. The driver, Tito Lara (40), was taken into custody without incident.

During a search of Lara, 2.2 grams of methamphetamine was located and 40.2 grams of marijuana was located on the passenger seat. Lara was booked into Merced Count Jail on charges of Possession of a stolen vehicle (felony), transportation of methamphetamine (felony), transportation of marijuana (felony).

If you have any information regarding illegal activity involving a dangerous criminal, please contact Atwater Police Department at 357-6396.  If you would like to remain anonymous you can also private message Allmercednews staff.