Crime

Photo of vehicle in Los Banos leads to arrests in vandalism probe, police say

Jesua Ramos-Ruiz, 18, of Los Banos
Jesua Ramos-Ruiz, 18, of Los Banos Courtesy Merced County Sheriff's Office

Two teenagers were arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism after Los Banos police said the teens shot at a parked vehicle with a BB gun.

Los Banos Police Officer Todd Carter responded to reports of vandalism at 2:19 p.m. Sunday in the area of Santa Barbara Drive and North Santa Monica Street, police said in a news release.

Upon his arrival, Carter saw a parked vehicle’s window had been shot out by a BB gun, the release states.

A neighbor of the victim provided investigators a photo of the suspect’s vehicle leaving the scene of the shooting.

Carter found the vehicle unoccupied a short time later parked in the area of Stonewood Drive and Parkwood Avenue, the release states. But the suspects, identified as a 17-year-old male and 18-year-old Jesua Ramos-Ruiz, returned to the vehicle.

Carter searched the vehicle and reportedly found evidence linking the teens to the vandalism. Both teens were arrested in connection with the vandalism, police said.

Ramos-Ruiz was booked into Merced County Jail and remained in custody Tuesday in lieu of $5,000 bail, the release states. The juvenile suspect was released to his parents’ custody.

After the arrests, Los Banos police officers investigated three more vandalism incidents on North Santa Monica Street but it remained unclear whether there was any connection between the cases.

Anyone with information regarding vandalism is encouraged to contact Los Banos Police at 209-827-7070, ext. 0. Anonymous tips can be left at extension 288. Anonymous messages also can be sent to the police department’s web page.

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