Merced County Sheriff’s Department: Stolen vehicle pursuit ends in crash in Delhi

A brief vehicle chase ended early Friday in Delhi after three suspected gang members crashed a stolen car into a ditch and were arrested, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

All three suspects were taken to an area hospital after the crash and warrants will be issued for their arrests, Deputy Delray Shelton said.

Deputies detained Ramon Preciado, 18, and Jesse Sanchez and Daniel Morales, both 19. They were not seriously injured and are expected to face multiple charges, authorities said.

Deputies Simon Farkis and Vincent LaMattina were patrolling about 2:50 a.m. near Schendel Avenue and Shanks Road in Delhi when they spotted a blue 2004 Ford Explorer. The vehicle was reported stolen recently from Atwater, Shelton said.

“The driver (of the Ford) did not yield and the pursuit lasted just about one mile,” he said.

The chase ended when the Ford crashed and overturned into a ditch near the intersection of Stephens Street and South Avenue.

All three men said they were not injured, but were taken to a hospital as a standard precaution when a vehicle overturns and airbags are deployed, Shelton said.

Deputies recovered numerous tools inside the vehicle believed to have been stolen.