Monday night traffic stop of suspected thief yields burglary tools and gun
On Monday, May 10th, 2021, at approximately 9:00 pm, a Turlock Police officer on a call in front of Glitter Nails located at 1874 Countryside Dr noticed a vehicle drive by that matched the description of one responsible for a number of riding lawn mover thefts from local hardware stores in Turlock and Ceres. Having that her partner had the situation under control, she left that call and attempted to catch up to the vehicle. She caught up to it near Countryside Dr and W Tuolumne Rd and stopped it for expired registration.
Upon making contact with the driver and identifying him as Frank Pena, 34, of Turlock, it was discovered that he was on probation and searchable. Other officers showed up at the traffic stop to assist and a probation search of the vehicle was conducted. The search yielded burglary tools.
Officers then went to Pena’s residence in the 900 block of Wakefield Rd and conducted a probation search there. No riding lawn mowers were located, but a homemade firearm was. Pena was placed under arrest and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on charges of possession of burglary tools, possession of an undetectable firearm, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Both Turlock and Ceres detectives were notified and will be conducting follow ups to attempt to locate the stolen riding lawn mowers.