Car thief rams into two FPD Dodges

The Sun-Gazette

A Tulare man was arrested by Farmersville Police last week after he rammed two patrol vehicles while driving a stolen car.

Just before 2 a.m. on Sept. 19, Farmersville Police officers were dispatched to the 300 block of W. Marilyn St. in Farmersville for a report of a stolen vehicle. On their way to the scene officers noticed a Chevrolet Cavalier pulling out of a neighborhood without its lights on.

“The vehicle seemed suspicious, like the driver did not know where they were going,” said Lt. Jay Brock with the Farmersville Police Department. “So the officers started to follow when the vehicle started to speed away.”

Brock said the Cavalier went east on Walnut and then south on Anderson Road before pulling onto a side street. About half way down the street, the driver of the Cavalier realized he had turned down a cul-de-sac just as the two Dodge Charger patrol vehicles turned onto the street.

“The driver turned the car around, revved up the engine and then started driving toward the patrol vehicles,” Brock said. “He could have gone around the stopped patrol cars but instead tried to drive right between them.”

The Chevy sedan hit the front of one of the Chargers and the impact set the Cavalier into the other patrol car. The impact caught the Cavalier on the second Charger and the driver was unable to free the car from the wreck. Brock said officers arrested the driver, 46-year-old Jesse Merjil of Tulare, on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, evading officers and assault with a deadly weapon. They also arrested an unnamed female passenger on unrelated charges. Brock said one Charger had to be towed and the other had moderate damage.

Brock said the Cavalier was reported stolen out of the Tulare area and was likely used to transport Merjil’s accomplices to town to steal another vehicle.

Sgt. Don Tripp with the Tulare County Regional Auto Theft Task Force (TRATT), said Merjil has connections to a car theft ring in Tulare. By the time Farmersville officers responded to the report of a stolen vehicle, Joshua Baker, 29, of Exeter was already on his way back to Tulare after stealing an Acura sedan from the Farmersville neighborhood.

At 10 a.m. later that morning, TRATT detectives had found the Acura stole in Farmersville and kept it under surveillance as it pulled into the Walmart parking lot on Prosperity Avenue and Hillman Avenue in Tulare. Detectives observed a passenger get out of the Acura and attempt to break into a Chevrolet pickup truck when Tulare Police Department officers moved in for the arrest. Officers were able to arrest Baker for possession of a stolen vehicle but the passenger, identified as Joshua Mark Ramirez of Tulare, fled on foot and was able to evade officers.

While searching for Ramirez, officers observed another stolen car, a Honda, passing by on Prosperity Avenue. The investigators followed the second stolen vehicle through the city of Tulare until they were able to make an enforcement stop on West Street and Kern Avenue. TRATT detectives stopped the Chevy pickup and arrested 18-year-old Carlos Bello of Tulare.


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