The Turlock Police Department has arrested one man for looting two local businesses and is looking for two other suspects in another incidence of looting.
Because a state of emergency is currently in place, any individual caught burglarizing a business will be facing an additional felony charge of looting. The California penal code states that anyone committing the crimes of burglary, grand theft, and petty theft during a declared state of emergency can face an additional charge of looting, which would carry more prison or jail time if an individual is found guilty. Turlock Police Sgt. Mike Parmley said the police department and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office will pursue the additional charge of looting if it is warranted.
The first incident happened around 9 p.m. Thursday when a person or persons tried to gain access into a business located in the 1800 block of Countryside Drive. The hinges had been removed from a back door, but the suspect(s) were not successful in entering the store.
The second incident happened around 3 p.m. Friday in the 2100 block of Fulkerth Road. A witness saw three men trying to get into a business through a side door and called the police department.
The three men ran from the scene. The witness saw one of them run into the Walmart store and was able to give police officers his description, including that he was wearing a Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt.
A Turlock Police officer arrived at the scene and waited for the suspect to come out. He eventually did, and even though he had the sweatshirt off and balled up in his hands, he was still spotted and apprehended.
An infield identification was conducted and the suspect was positively identified as one of the three suspects seen trying to enter the closed business, Parmley said.
The suspect was identified as Samuel Deblieux, 32, of Turlock. He was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail on charges of burglary and looting. He remains in custody in lieu of a $25,000 bail.
The third incident of looting happened around 3 a.m. Saturday in the 2800 block of W. Monte Vista Avenue.
The two male suspects smashed the window of a business and started throwing items into a vehicle, Parmley said.
The alarm was triggered and officers responded to the scene quickly, but the suspects had already fled.
The suspects were both wearing bandanas over their faces. They were driving a light blue sedan crossover style vehicle.
Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to contact the Turlock Police Department’s tip line at 668-5550 extension 6780 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.