Police nab suspected car thief

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comMay 10, 2013 

An inquiry about a stolen truck led police to make an arrest for drug-related offenses this week, according to law enforcement.

Officer Todd Pricolo on Tuesday at 10:37 p.m. responded to the intersection of Seventh and C streets after police received a report that a stolen truck was parked in the area.

Pricolo located a Dodge Ram truck leaving the scene. He reportedly observed a male in the driver's seat who was later identified as 48-year-old Martin Garibaldi of Los Banos. A records check showed the truck had been reported stolen from the 500 Block of I Street on Sunday, police said.

When Pricolo attempted to stop the truck, police said, Garibaldi jumped out of the vehicle while it was moving. The truck collided into a mobile home.

Police said Sgt. Zina Holden found Garibaldi hiding in a nearby field.

During a search, Garibaldi was allegedly found to be in possession of a methamphetamine smoking pipe and was on active Merced County Probation. Garibaldi was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property, vehicle theft, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of his Merced County probation conditions. Garibaldi is being held at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility without bail.

"There have been a number of stolen vehicles recovered in Los Banos over the last week and we are investigating whether those cases are related to Garibaldi," Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said.

Be alert

The Los Banos Police Department is asking residents to consider taking extra steps to secure their vehicles. There has been a recent rash of vehicle thefts in the city. On Tuesday the Los Banos Police Department took five reports of stolen Honda Accords and Honda Civics in the Los Banos area. Officer Alfonso Flores recovered four of the vehicles after finding them abandoned at different locations in town.

"Car alarms, steering wheel club devices and parking your vehicles in the garage are just some of the ways to reduce your risk of being targeted by potential thieves," Reyna said.

These cases are still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Justin Melden at (209) 827-7070 ext. 114.

To leave an anonymous crime tip call 209-827-7070 Ext. 288. If you have access to a computer and the internet you can also leave an anonymous tip at the police department's web page at www.losbanos.org. At the bottom of the "Contact" page simply click on the "report graffiti and other crime" link or visit the Merced Area Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-855-725-2420, or at www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org

Enterprise staff writer Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or cpride@


Enterprise staff writer Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or cpride@losbanosenterprise.com.

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