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Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2005 10:00 pm

Man reports car stolen, is arrested for fraud

A man who reported his car stolen in Lodi was soon arrested Wednesday on suspicion of insurance fraud and making a false police report.

Shalendra Singh, 26, of Modesto, was booked into the Lodi jail, and is expected to be arraigned in court today.

Lodi Police were initially called around 7:45 a.m. to the Shell gas station at Hutchins Street and Kettleman Lane, where two men were seen stripping a car, Detective Nick Welton said.

Danny Nguyen and Savoeun Yin, both 20 and of Stockton, were arrested at the scene, where they were allegedly removing the wheels from a 1991 Acura, Welton said.

After further investigation, police learned that the men were allegedly dismantling the car for Singh, who had called police the night before to report his car stolen, Welton said. Singh was on his way to sign a police report Wednesday morning when police contacted him.

Nguyen and Yin, who were also arrested on suspicion of methamphetamine possession, are being held in the city jail, and are scheduled to appear today in court.

Lodi man arrested in connection with stabbing

A Lodi man accused in an Acampo stabbing last week is scheduled to be arraigned in court today.

Eric Allen Fidildy, 20, was arrested Tuesday morning on Le Bec Court, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department. He is jailed on $25,000 bail, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

The case began July 5, when deputies were called to Lodi Memorial Hospital to speak to two stabbing victims.

The male victims had been at a Sowles Road party when one got into an argument with Fidildy, according to a Sheriff's report. The fight became physical, and then the victim noticed that his shirt was torn and he was bleeding heavily from the chest and stomach. He was later treated for three stab wounds.

Fidildy allegedly fled and was followed by 10 to 15 people who beat him up. A second victim said he heard that someone had been stabbed, so he charged Fidildy. The two fought and the second victim then realized he was bleeding from the chest, according to the Sheriff's report.

The investigation continued until Tuesday, when deputies arrived on Le Bec Court. Fidildy emerged from a residence and was arrested without incident.

In his pocket, deputies allegedly found a 31/2-inch knife, according to the report.

Partners to receive program award

The Lodi Police volunteer Partners program has been selected to receive the International Association of Chiefs of Police award for Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs. The award is given to law enforcement agencies that have developed creative and effective law enforcement volunteer programs.

Nominations were received from agencies throughout the world, and two volunteer programs will be recognized at a reception at the IACP conference in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sept. 27. Jeanie Biskup, who coordinates the Partners Program, will attend.

Merchants, nonprofits to show their stuff

About 50 merchants, nonprofit groups and a sports franchise will set up display tables at the Business Showcase on Friday from 6-9 p.m. at the Delta Picnic Grounds at Micke Grove Park.

Computer firm I-Select will exhibit the services of recently launched wireless Internet provider Clearwire. Victor-based nonprofit Mustang MAGIC, which assists in the development of disadvantaged youth, will also provide information on its services.

Stockton Thunder, the local minor league hockey franchise, and Nursing Assessments, an agency that examines medical bills to identify overcharges, will also set up displays.

Several wineries will pour tastes, and Lodi Mayor John Beckman, Councilman Bob Johnson, accompanied by city department heads and board members of the Lodi Chamber Of Commerce, will tend a barbecue laden with Lockeford Sausage and Miller Hot Dogs. Entertainment will be provided by Creative DJs.

The event is an opportunity for the public to get acquainted with local businesses, as well as for local businesses to learn about the services of other local merchants, said Marilyn Storey, director of operations for the chamber.

Tickets to the event, which include a free parking pass, are $10 and available at the Chamber of Commerce office, 35 S. School St., until 3 p.m. Friday. Tickets sold at the door will not include free parking.

Lodi Library hosts Harry Potter summer bash

The Lodi Public Library, in collaboration with the library's Teen Advisory Council, is planning a crafts and costume party on Friday to celebrate Saturday's release of "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."

The crafts section starts at 5 p.m., where visitors will make wands and lanyards in the different house colors. The costume party starts at 6 p.m. and will include activities where attendants will be sorted into four different houses and then compete in Harry Potter trivia and charades.

Costume contests and plotline contests will also be held with assorted prizes. Teen volunteers will transform the library's Bud Sullivan's Community Room into Hogwarts school and refreshments will be available.

The event is sponsored by The Friends of the Lodi Public Library.

Chevron Gas station robbed at gunpoint

A man in a rubber Halloween mask robbed an Acampo gas station at gunpoint early Wednesday morning.

Nobody was injured, and there had been no arrests as of Wednesday evening.

San Joaquin County Sheriff's deputies were called to Chevron, 25621 N. Highway 99 W. Frontage Road, at 4:22 a.m.

A cashier told deputies that a man in a black sweatshirt and a black mask with white eyes entered the store, pulled a sawed-off shotgun out of a bag and demanded cash from the register, according to a Sheriff's report.

After getting the cash, the suspect left on a red bicycle and was then seen meeting up with another man on a bicycle.

The clerk believed the other man had entered the store two hours earlier, asked where the bathroom was, then lingered in the parking lot for about 10 minutes, according to the Sheriff's report.

Community services meeting postponed

The Lockeford Community Services District board meeting scheduled for today has been postponed until 9 a.m. Wednesday. The meeting will be in the Lockeford Community Center's McDonald Building, 19456 N. Jack Tone Road.

Fourth insurance fraud suspect held without bail

A fourth suspect in an insurance fraud case is being held without bail in the Sacramento County Jail.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kimberly J. Mueller held James Sidney Kalfsbeek, 67, in custody without bail during his Tuesday arraignment in Sacramento. His court appearance had been scheduled for Monday, but it was postponed until the following afternoon.

On Monday, two Galt residents and one from Petaluma were arraigned in the same case. Amy Lynn Polnoff, 47, and David Scott, 40, both from Galt, were released on $300,000 bail. Sherwood Theodore Rodrigues, 87, was released on his own recognizance on Monday due to his age and health status, according to Mary Wenger, a spokeswoman from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

They were charged by a federal grand jury with mail fraud, wire fraud, illegal financial transactions, money laundering, aiding and abetting and conspiracy, according to FBI spokesman John Cauthen.

The suspects were involved with Puget's Sound Agricultural Society, which described itself as a Christian-based organization claiming to sell an alternative to auto liability insurance, according to a grand jury indictment.

The FBI is looking for another suspect, Galt resident Kurt Lakota, 59. Three others, including Donna Rowe, 54, of Lodi, were not jailed but instead given a summons to appear in court. Also issued summons were Louise Renfro, 58, of Winters, and Blanche Patricia Hassall, 72, of Petaluma.

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Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

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