Merced Police Catch Burglary Suspect In The Act Print
News - Local
Written by B|V|N Newsroom   
Wednesday, 14 March 2012 23:26

MERCED - Early last Saturday Merced Police Detectives Paul Johnson and Brian Rodriguez were working a burglary detail patrolling the area of the Merced Mall, when they discovered that the south door to JC Penny had been smashed. The discovery was made before the alarm to the store had gone off. The suspect smashed the south side door with a rock that was later found inside the store.

Once inside, the suspect went directly to the cash registered, ransacked the counter area and left the store without getting any money and only a couple of shirts. Prior to the burglary, both detectives saw an individual who they know as Ronnie Chestnut riding his bicycle in the area. Chestnut was arrested last week for possession of stolen property from the Peraino’s Jewelers burglary that occurred on March 4th and is the same individual who was arrested in a stolen vehicle after he crashed into the Merced Police Department south station on January 31st.

At approximately 0207am Merced Police department dispatch received an alarm call from Peraino’s Jewelers at 2844 G St. As detectives Johnson and Rodriguez were driving southbound on G St, they saw Chestnut riding his bicycle northbound on G St from Bear Creek. Both detectives attempted to stop Chestnut. Chestnut immediately dumped his bicycle and jewelry from the store and took off running towards the commercial buildings across the street. Chestnut then jumped into Bear Creek and reappeared on the south side of the creek.

A perimeter was set up by the patrol division and Chestnut was found hiding in the back yard of an abandoned building. Next to Chestnut, officers located more jewelry from the store. Form watching the store video surveillance, Chestnut smashed out the front window and climbed through the window. Once inside the store, Chestnut smashed out several display cases, taking several pieces of jewelry before leaving the store.

Detectives believe Chestnut is responsible for several burglaries that have occurred in the past two weeks including Judd’s Jewelers, Peraino’s Jewelers, Wells Fargo bank, West America bank and Bank of America. During questioning, Chestnut admitted to breaking into JC Penny and Periano’s to support his drug habit.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is requested to call Detective Paul Johnson at (209) 385-7742, Detective Brian Rodriguez at (209) 385-4710, or the Merced Police Department Tipster Line at (209) 385-7742.