Turlock City News

Turlock City News

Weekly Lowlights from the Turlock Police Log


After a brief holiday respite, Weekly Lowlights is back in the saddle again.

Beginning at 4:37 p.m. Jan. 5, one criminal savant was hard at work executing the most perfect and intelligent crime of all time. Stephen Vasquez, 29, decided to steal items from a store in the 3000 block of Countryside Drive. His genius plan was to, allegedly, return the stolen items using a fake receipt in order to cash in on the merchandise. He would use his keen fake receipt making skills to craft a flawless computer generated receipt so exact and precise that it would go undetected even by the most expert retail associate. Tragically his perfect crime was discovered and he was arrested for burglary.

While Vasquez may or may not have been a criminal savant, this next person is more of the blue collar, hardworking type. David Krigbaum, 46, was arrested on a warrant at 3:23 p.m. Jan. 6, at the intersection of Monte Vista Avenue and Countryside Drive after police saw him panhandling. Turns out Krigbaum had ten outstanding misdemeanor warrants.

From criminal mastermind to blue collar criminal, we move into a criminal novice. Tifany Tragas, 19, was arrested the same day at 8:16 p.m. for shoplifting in the 2400 block of Geer Road.

Now we move onto the criminally… well you can draw your own conclusion. Thalia Gunkel, 42 and her running mate Paul Smith, 46, were arrested for possession of stolen property at 9 p.m. Jan. 7.

The tale of their rapid demise begins at Chili’s on Countryside Drive. Little did they know that as they enjoyed some baby back ribs with a side of green beans and a crisp green salad, a Turlock police officer was checking the registration on a motorcycle in the parking lot. The officer determined the motorcycle was stolen and conducted surveillance.

The officer then laid in wait for Gunkel and Smith to come out of Chili’s. After putting away some cheesecake for dessert, the pair of food aficionados departed the eatery for a nice after-dinner motorcycle ride. The officer arrested the pair as they were putting on their helmets because, after all, safety comes first. Both Smith and Gunkel were found to be on active probation and, as you would have probably never guessed, Gunkel also had some meth on her.

On Jan. 10 Turlock Police stopped several bicyclists. Stephen Hanson, 60, and Anders Anderson, 30, were both arrested in the 10 a.m. hour for misdemeanor warrants. Later, at just before 3 p.m., David Russell, 46, was arrested for three felony warrants after being stopped on his bike. He tried to lie about his name to the police. It didn’t work out well.

Just before 1 a.m. on Sunday, a couple of buddies were just out having a good time when police ruined their fun. Sathaphone Manivongphaphon, 23, and Saruth Eang, 21, were causing a disturbance in a parking lot in the 100 block of South Broadway. When officers arrived Eang took off running and tossed his .45 caliber handgun. Perhaps he learned that from watching an episode of Cops. If he did, he should have learned that cops always catch the fleeing suspect. In this case they did after a short foot pursuit. Eang was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm, possession of a concealed firearm and public intoxication. Manivongphaphon was arrested for public intoxication.

Covering the bases of Turlock’s criminal element from genius to novice, we’ve saved the best for last. Simply put, there is no logical explanation for the actions of Diana Haag, 45. On Sunday, just before 8 a.m., Haag was located with a 100-pound ball of plastic she had allegedly just stolen from a business near South Tully Road and West Main Street. She was arrested for petty theft with a prior conviction and possession of stolen property. It is unclear why Haag wanted the 100-pound ball of plastic.

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