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Residents catch man breaking into vehicle
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Three Turlock men helped the Turlock Police Department nab an auto burglary suspect after catching him in the act and chasing him for several blocks.

The incident began at 4:19 p.m. Saturday when a caller reported a suspicious man in the parking lot of 1611 Lander Ave. According to the caller the man was walking up to the vehicles and checking for any open doors. The caller gave a detailed description of the suspect, but when officers arrived he had already left, said Turlock police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis.

A short time later the police department received a call from a man who said he had just caught a man breaking into his vehicle in the 600 block of Rockwood Avenue and had the suspect detained.

The man told police he had heard a noise outside and went to check it out, which is when he spotted the suspect in the cargo area of his sports utility vehicle.

The suspect jumped out of the vehicle and was attempting to flee the area when he was caught by the man and his two relatives.

The suspect had property from the SUV in his possession and matched the description of the man seen on Lander Avenue, Lewis said.

The suspect was identified as 24-year-old Shane Tovar of Turlock. He was charged with auto burglary and possession of a fictitious check, Lewis said.

Tovar allegedly told the officers he was breaking into the vehicles for other people.

While the police department commends the men for the apprehension, it wants to remind people to proceed with caution.

“If you make the decision to give chase, make sure you are being cautious,” Lewis said. “The bottom line is a person’s well-being is more important than property.”