A routine investigation into suspicious activity ended early Monday in Chowchilla with a Dos Palos man behind bars, facing possible theft and drug charges, the Madera County Sheriff’s Department reported.
Cruz Vasquez, 32, was arrested about 4:30 a.m. on Robertson Boulevard in Chowchilla, a Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
Sheriff John Anderson credited the arrest to a resident who reported possible suspicious activity.
Deputies said Vasquez knocked on a door in the neighborhood, saying he was out of gas. The residents had not seen Vasquez before and apparently did not open their door.
Within 20 minutes Deputy Darrell Swengel found the vehicle parked outside another house a few blocks away, authorities said.
The deputy learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Los Banos on Jan. 2, the sheriff’s department said.
An iPad Mini recovered from the suspect’s pocket had been reported stolen from a different vehicle, also in Dos Palos.
A replicate semi-automatic Airsoft handgun was seized along with a crystal pipe that contained methamphetamine.
Vasquez was booked into Madera County Department of Corrections with bail set at $10,000.00