Man with warrant for 14 felonies unknowingly released after tricking officer and giving relative’s name, two others with warrants arrested Sunday night

On Sunday, October 16th, 2022, at 11:14 pm, a Turlock Police officer near Ace Hardware, 3051 Geer Rd, Turlock, observed a vehicle violate the California Vehicle Code, so he made a traffic stop on it.

The officer made contact with the vehicle’s three occupants, driver Jason Larsen, 34, of Turlock, passenger Lance Mitchell, 38, of Turlock, and passenger Matthew Leighton, 38, of Turlock. The officer was able to identify Mitchell and Leighton, however, Larsen gave a relative’s name.

The officer had his dispatcher run all three and the name that Larsen gave returned clear, while Mitchell returned with a local $10,000 felony warrant of arrest for grand theft, and Leighton returned with five misdemeanor bench warrants. The first one was a local one for possession of methamphetamines, the second one was a local one for possession of a controlled substance, the third one was a local one for theft, the fourth one was a local one for driving with a suspended driver’s license, and the fifth one was out of Modesto for theft.

Larsen was released, while Mitchell and Leighton were arrested.

The officer began speaking with Mitchell and during that conversation discovered who Larsen really was. When he ran him, he returned with a $250,500 felony bench warrant out of Modesto for kidnapping a person with the intent of holding them for ransom, carjacking, robbery, assault with a firearm, possession of a controlled substance while armed with a loaded and operable firearm, carrying a loaded firearm, and possession of methamphetamines.

Several officers arrived in the area and began searching for Larsen, who had been last seen walking southbound after his release, however, were unable to locate him.

Mitchell was booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center on his warrant, while Leighton was released on a citation on his warrants.

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