Two reportedly involved in mailbox vandalism arrested after leading police on two high speed pursuits early Monday morning

On Monday, January 23rd, 2023, at 1:05 am, the Turlock Police Department was dispatched to a reported vandalism that had just occurred at Lakeside Apartments, 300 Tampa St, Turlock, after three men had broken into a few community mailboxes in the apartment complex.

The caller, who was a security guard for the complex, observed the men get into a white 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class and begin driving away. He followed them until they pulled into the QuikStop at 1260 Geer Rd.

The security guard then observed what he believed to be the same vehicle, but wasn’t, leaving the QuikStop northbound on Geer Rd and then turning westbound on Pedras Rd. He followed it, but then lost it after it turned onto an unknown street.

An uninvolved person who was listening to the police scanner and was in the area then called to report that the suspect vehicle was still at the QuikStop. The second caller then observed the vehicle leave the QuikStop and pull into the Walgreens at 1591 Geer Rd. He called police dispatch again to inform them of the update.

Within minutes, officers arrived at Walgreens and located the vehicle backed into a parking stall near the front entrance of the business. Two of the three men were in it, and the third was likely inside Walgreens.

As officers exited their patrol vehicles and began approaching the suspect vehicle on foot, it pulled out and went southbound through the parking lot, eastbound on Twentieth Century Blvd, and then southbound on Geer Rd. The vehicle made a U-turn in front of the QuikStop and began to accelerate quickly northbound on Geer Rd. The vehicle then blew a red light at E Hawkeye Ave and a pursuit was initiated.

The suspect vehicle continued northbound on Geer Rd while being pursued by officers, reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. As the vehicle went through E Keyes Rd, the pursuit was terminated by the watch commander due to safety reasons.

A few minutes later, at 1:27 am, a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputy observed the same vehicle driving recklessly in the downtown Modesto area. The deputy was able to catch up to the vehicle at the intersection of N Seventh St and Tuolumne Blvd, where he observed it run a red light.

The deputy initiated a pursuit with the airship flying overhead and the vehicle began heading northbound on State Route 99. The deputy on the ground had a hard time keeping up with the vehicle, however, the airship was able to keep up with no problem and continued to follow the vehicle up to the Kiernan Ave exit, updating deputies on the ground.

At the Kiernan Ave exit, the vehicle ran out of fuel and came to a stop. A short foot pursuit ensued after both of the vehicle’s occupants exited it and hopped a fence onto Sisk Rd, however, they were quickly apprehended.

The driver was identified as Jeffrey Santos, 23, of San Rafael, while the passenger was identified as Anthony Aromin, 33, of Lathrop.

Santos and Aromin were both arrested and booked into the Stanislaus County Public Safety, Santos on charges of flight from a peace officer with disregard to public safety and reckless driving, and Aromin on the charge of obstructing or resisting a public officer in the discharge of their duty.

The Turlock Police Department will be conducting follow-up in their own investigation and additional charges will likely be later added.

The third man who was likely inside Walgreens was unable to be located after Turlock officers returned from their own pursuit to check for him.

The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information that could assist in it is encouraged to call Officer Kevin Blanc at 209-668-6540.

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