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Posted: Thursday, June 5, 2008 10:00 pm

Police believe a Lodi bank robbery suspect may be responsible for two Stockton robberies, but a defense attorney wants to conduct a jail house photo line-up before legal proceedings continue.

John Lawrence Wilson, 43, of Stockton, has been jailed since April 30, when Lodi police tracked him from Bank of America, 700 W. Kettleman Lane, to Stockton. He was charged with one count of robbery in that case but then, on May 12, Wilson was charged with two more counts of robbery at Stockton banks.

Those charges related to a Sept. 27 robbery at a Bank of America and a March 21 robbery at a Guaranty Bank, San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Patricia Rieta-Garcia said.

Wilson appeared in court Thursday, where attorneys were likely going to confirm a date for a preliminary hearing, where a judge decides if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial.

Instead, Deputy Public Defender Matthew Kowalski asked for a line-up at the jail, to see if witnesses could even identify Wilson as the suspect. That matter will be discussed July 3.

Wilson remains at the county jail in French Camp, where he is being held on $150,000 bail.

Man admits to stealing lighting, audio equipment

A Lodi man who was arrested after police said they found $125,000 worth of stolen light and sound equipment in his storage units has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor possession of lost property.

Martin Peel, 44, was ordered to pay restitution, according to San Joaquin County court records. He was also sentenced to 60 days in jail, fined $230 and placed on three years of probation.

Lodi police detectives arrested Peel on Feb. 1 after an a tip led them to storage units Peel had rented in south Lodi.

Inside, detectives found professional lights mounted on rafters, large custom-made rolling storage boxes and other equipment. At least some of it had been stolen from an area lighting and audio business.

Misdemeanor possession of lost property, is a theft charge defined under California law as: "One who finds lost property under circumstances which give him knowledge of or means of inquiry as to the true owner, and who appropriates such property to his own use, or to the use of another person not entitled thereto, without first making reasonable and just efforts to find the owner and to restore the property to him, is guilty of theft."

This item was updated at 10:45 a.m. June 24, 2008, to correct the charge to which Peel pleaded no contest.

Look who's in the dog house fund-raiser today

People assisting Lodi Shelter will be holding a "Look Who's In The Dog House!" fund-raiser from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

Pairs of volunteers will be calling friends and family to come adopt them out. The money raised will be used to finish the dog exercise area, and provide awnings for the cat and dog areas.

Last year, the fund-raiser was able to earn $10,000. Nancy Alumbaugh, treasurer of PALS hopes to raise just as much this year.

A few participants in this year's event include Jeanie Biskup, special services manager of the Lodi Police Department, Nick Caravetes of Oak Ridge Winery, and Tony Segale of Segale Signs.

Alumbaugh just hopes to raise enough money to support the animals.

"All these funds are used for animal care," Alumbaugh said. "It gives animals an opportunity who otherwise wouldn't have one.

Relay for Life planned for this weekend

The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Lodi will be held at the Lodi Grape festival grounds at 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday. The event is designed to bring together people who have experienced cancer and celebrate cancer survivors. It is held overnight to represent that cancer never sleeps.

Participants in groups of eight to 15 normally stay in tents and try to keep one member of the team walking the whole 24 hours.

Candles lit in memory of loved ones lost to cancer line the track reminding people of why they participate and how much of a difference their contributions make.

So far, 507 participants and 50 teams have signed up to participate in the Lodi event and $24,429.00 has been raised.

Teams and individuals can still sign up and donations are still being accepted for participants. For more information, call 209-327-3741 or visit http://events.cancer.org/rfllodica.

Lodi frees $440,000 for energy rebates

The city of Lodi made $440,000 available this week through its seven state-mandated energy rebate programs.

Residents and businesses who purchase energy efficient appliances or make energy saving improvements to their homes or offices are eligible for the rebates.

They must also be customers of the Lodi Electric Utility District.

Money for the rebates is collected from city ratepayers, said city spokesman Jeff Hood.

Buying an EnergyStar refrigerator at a Lodi retailer, for example, could net local residents a $50 rebate.

Replacing your air duct, on the other hand, could result in $750 in cash back, according to a city report on the rebate programs.

For more information on the rebates, contact the Lodi Electric Utility District at (209) 333-6762 or visit www.lodielectric.com and click on 'Rebates' at the top right hand side of the page.

Driver expected to be charged in fatal wreck

Investigators will ask prosecutors to file misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges against a big rig driver who rear-ended cars stopped at a Highway 12 bridge, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said Thursday.

Edwin S. Soper, 58, of Diamond Springs, was driving his truck west on the two-lane highway Saturday afternoon when he reached a Delta bridge near Terminous Road. He crashed into four cars that had stopped while the bridge opened for boating traffic, Quintero said at the time of the collision.

The driver of the first vehicle struck, identified by San Joaquin County Coroner's officials as Alfred Carretta III, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene. Carretta was originally from Collinsville, Ill., and apparently recently moved to Benicia in the Bay Area.

Several other drivers and passengers were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, and the roadway was closed for several hours.

Investigators do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors.

Congressional candidates to debate

Republican congressional candidate Dean Andal has asked Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, to participate in a series of debates throughout the sprawling 11th Congressional District.

Andal sent a letter dated Wednesday to his Democratic opponent, saying he would rather allow voters to see and hear them as they really are rather than through sound bites and "carefully controlled appearances." Andal suggested starting the debates during the congressional recess in August.

McNerney spokesman Andy Stone said that McNerney has agreed to participate in debates, but scheduling hasn't been determined. McNerney's first priority is his duties as a congressman, Stone said.

The not-so-wonderful wedding memories

Carrie Bradshaw was a victim of it on "Sex and the City," and Julia Roberts made the story famous with "Runaway Bride." The left-at-the-altar scene is popular in film, but does it happen in real life? Do you have a story of an engagement that ended with cold feet on the day of the wedding? If so, we may want to include your story in an upcoming Lodi Living article. Not all submissions need to be about Lodi residents, and any names or specific can be kept anonymous. To share a wedding story, contact Lauren Nelson at 369-7035 or send a detailed e-mail to laurenn@lodinews.com. All submissions must be in by Sunday, June 8.

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  • posted at 5:34 pm on Fri, Jun 6, 2008.


    It takes a bit of time adopting out those Pet shelter inmates.They have to be neutered and get rabies vaccine before you pick them up.The shelter does that to the dogs too.

  • posted at 6:03 am on Fri, Jun 6, 2008.


    Concerning the bank robber that is fighting several more charges. It always amazed me that a lawyer that knows his client is guilty, will never the less do his best to prove to a jury that his guilty client is inocent. Ethics ? what Ethics. Don`t have to show no stink`en ethics. Only in America.

  • posted at 4:43 am on Fri, Jun 6, 2008.


    Everyone should take some time Saturday to head over to the Grape Festival Grounds and support the Lodi Relay for Life. It is truly a wonderful family event. Almost everyone in our community has been touched by Cancer and this is an excellent way to support one another and fight back to support the American Cancer Society. Great bands will be playing and lots of food and activities are planned. Plus a Stockton Cougars mini soccer camp from 3 to 5. All are encouraged to attend.



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