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Child Taken in Stolen Auto Reunited with Family



MERCED – The parents of a three year old girl who was taken with their car as it was stolen were relieved to have their child back home Monday night.

The incident happened at about 6:45pm on the 400 block of West 27th Street, as Melissa Foster was preparing to take her Toyota Corolla to a car wash.

“I took one second just to run back to my porch to grab my purse,” Foster said. “In that split second, my mom saw the car door open and close.”

Someone had jumped into the car and began driving off with it. Melissa’s three year old daughter Jessie Sanchez, or “JJ” as she is affectionately called, was still inside. Melissa chased after the car on foot for two blocks before the vehicle was able to get away.

She believed whoever took her car and her daughter had been watching and waiting for her.

Police searched the surrounding neighborhood for any sign of the the stolen vehicle and the child.

“Commonly when someone steals a car and finds a child inside they (the suspect) will usually abandon the car within three or four blocks,” said Captain Jay Struble with the Merced Police Department. “Unfortunately this was not the case here.”

As time continued to pass with no sign of the car or the child, authorities issued an Amber Alert. Photos of the car and child were posted and shared to social media sites to help the word spread.

At about 8:45pm, the California Highway Patrol received a call from a citizen saying they saw the vehicle parked at a Chevron in Chowchilla. Authorities responded and found the vehicle abandoned with the child inside. Officers had to force entry into the vehicle to gain access, but found the child was unharmed and uninjured.

Detectives with the Merced Police Department, officers with Chowchilla Police and California Highway Patrol, as well as a K-9 from the Merced County Sheriff’s Office searched the area for any signs of a suspect. Monday night there was no word of an arrest.

Captain Struble said investigators were looking at surveillance video from the area, but they can only make out what appeared to be a male figure.

Jessie was brought home and reunited with her family in Merced shortly before 9:30pm. To brighten her spirits, Officer Rogelio Rodriguez bought her lollipops to enjoy on the drive home.

“She was very excited to see her mom and dad when she got back.”

The parents expressed their gratitude for the authorities involved in searching for little Jessie, and thankful for the public and Amber Alert system that made everything in this incident work out.

“Your mind is just a fog in that moment,” the child’s mother said of the two hours waiting while police searched for the girl. “I know she’s so strong and so brave.”

Carlos Rodriguez is an Emmy Award winning photojournalist specializing in public safety and natural disasters. His passion for local news stems from a deep commitment to his community, with a selfless mission to inform the citizens of the valley. As he worked on assignment for 19 days at the devastating Camp Fire in Paradise, California, he spent most of his time helping survivors contact their loved ones to let them know they were ok. Carlos is a veteran of Univision, FOX, and Telemundo TV stations and a native of Modesto, California.

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Police Shooting Investigated in West Modesto



MODESTO – An officer involved shooting closed down a shopping center near a busy intersection early Tuesday morning.

The incident happened shortly before 1:00am near the intersection of South Martin Luther King Drive and Paradise Road. A police press release stated the shooting occurred when police encountered an armed person during a traffic stop. The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment of the gunshot wound and was expected to survive. A firearm was recovered at the scene, and no officers were injured.

South Martin Luther King Drive was closed to traffic near the area where the shooting happened. The shooting appeared to have happened in a parking lot just east of the roadway near a Jack in the Box restaurant. A white car was examined by investigators in the parking lot, with police cars behind it.

The area was cleared and re-opened shortly before 9:00am.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact Modesto Police or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Woman Stabbed, Knife Wielding Man Shot by Police



STOCKTON – Authorities with Stockton Police conducted an investigation Sunday night following a stabbing and officer involved shooting.

At about 8:00pm police officers responded to the 1600 block of East Bianchi Road for a report of a disturbance involving a man armed with a knife. Arriving officers located the suspect, and moments later shots were fired by police.

A woman was also found suffering from at least one stab wound. Both the victim and suspect were taken to a hospital for treatment. As of Sunday night their conditions were unknown. No other injuries were reported.

The area was closed off by police for several hours for the investigation. No further details were released at time of publication.

This was the second officer involved shooting over the weekend in Stockton. On Saturday morning, police responded to an apartment complex on 11th Street for a report of a man who threatened to stab a woman. That suspect was shot. The woman suffered multiple stab wounds. Both were taken to a hospital. Several children in the apartment were unharmed.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the Stockton Police Department or Crime Stoppers at (209) 946-0600 where callers can remain anonymous.

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Police Shoot Man Who Threatened to Stab Woman



STOCKTON – Two people were rushed to a hospital Saturday morning following a violent confrontation.

At about 9:00am police officers were called to an apartment complex on the 1500 block of East 11th Street. Early indications suggest officers were responding to a report of a man armed with a knife.

The person calling for help was a child of the man and woman involved, and said their dad was threatening to stab their mom. Arriving officers located the suspect and a shooting occurred. The involved woman was also found with stab wounds. Both were transported to a hospital with injuries and as of this publication, their conditions were unknown.

Residents in the area were shocked at the incident. One man who declined to provide his name and lived across the street said that the neighborhood and apartment complex is relatively calm, and that most people who lived around him are respectful of each other. He was taking a shower and heard three or four gunshots, and a large amount of sirens shortly after. The incident came as a surprise and felt very out of place to him.

Other residents who lived a block to the east said they heard the commotion. One woman said she heard shouting for someone to get on the ground along with three or four gunshots.

Kya Lewis lives across the street and said her and her neighbors watched the incident unfold from their apartment windows. She said she saw officers arrive and rush to the apartment in question followed by gunshots shortly after.

A video Lewis provided showed the aftermath shortly after the shooting occurred. Two officers tended to a man and woman on the front doorstep of the apartment. Both appeared to be significantly bleeding. A second video recording shows both persons being wheeled away by paramedics, while officers spoke with witnesses.

Several neighbors expressed concern for the children in the apartment noting several lived there.

Police taped off the entire block of the complex, and closed roadways leading up to the area.

No further details were released Saturday afternoon.

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