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Posted: Monday, November 20, 2006 10:00 pm

Police: Parolee arrested with gun in stolen vehicle

A parolee in a stolen sport-utility vehicle was arrested in Lodi early Monday, and police said they soon found a loaded gun and numerous pieces of stolen property.

Gabriel Kruse, 35, a transient, was driving near Harney and Cherokee lanes at 1:53 a.m. when Officer Val Chaban pulled up behind him and ran a computer check on the license plate, Lt. Virgil Monroe said. He soon learned that the plate had been stolen off a 2006 Ford vehicle in Antioch. The 2001 Ford Explorer that Kruse was driving had been reported stolen in Brentwood.

Inside the vehicle, police found a loaded sawed-off shotgun measuring less than 12 inches, far shorter than the legally required 18 inches, Monroe said. Police also found a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation badge, he said.

Kruse had counterfeit money in his pocked, including four $100 bills, three $10 bills and one $20 bill, Monroe said. Detectives were still working to find the owners of other items in the vehicle which they believed had been stolen in several burglaries.

Kruse was booked into jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, possession of counterfeit money and being a felon in possession of a handgun. His prior criminal information was not immediately available Monday evening.

Police, business owners to discuss burglaries

Lodi police officers will discuss the large number of recent burglaries to businesses within the city at 6 p.m. today at the Lodi Police Department community room, 215 W. Elm St.

The meeting will be with the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership, but business owners in other parts of town are invited.

Thanksgiving service at St. John's Episcopal

St. John's Episcopal Church, 1055 S. Lower Sacramento Road, will have a Thanksgiving service at 9 a.m. For more information, call 369-3381.

S.J. supervisors may adopt preservation program

STOCKTON - San Joaquin County officials planned to adopt a program Tuesday requiring builders in unincorporated areas to preserve as much farmland as they develop.

Builders will have to buy farm easements that forever prohibit future development on agricultural land. The program is intended to control sprawl.

"It's difficult to convince a landowner to give up those rights," said Bill Martin, the executive director of the nonprofit Central Valley Farmland Trust. "We don't want to take them down a road that they may regret."

Under most conservation easement programs, landowners essentially sell the development rights for 30 to 90 percent of the property's value. They continue to own the property, but it can never be built on.

The San Joaquin County program will cover areas where less than 1 percent of development has occurred since 1996. But the county's $1.75 billion agricultural industry plans to lobby Stockton and other cities to adopt similar programs.

First published: Tuesday, November 21, 2006

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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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