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Posted: Friday, September 18, 2009 10:00 pm

A Lodi appliance store owner was jailed Friday on a $100,000 arrest warrant, alleging that he took money from customers and never gave them their merchandise.

David Westerback, 43, faces three counts of grand theft, and investigators believe there is at least one more victim, said Lodi Police Detective Lee Patterson.

Customers would order ovens, washers and dryers from Anderson Maytag, 608 S. Central Ave. Westerback only took cash, and then never delivered the items, Patterson said.

Instead, Westerback allegedly made excuses for the weeks-long delays, saying the appliances were held up on the East Coast, or the wrong ones had been shipped, Patterson said.

When customers got tired of waiting and asked for their cash back, Westerback allegedly refused and said they could take him to small claims court.

Customers did so, and got judgments - which haven't been paid, Patterson said.

Police began pursuing it when the reports kept trickling in for several months starting in April.

"He knows he's in trouble in April but he continues to sell these items," Patterson said. "That's theft by false pretenses - selling the items when you know you're not going to come through."

- Layla Bohm

Train victim transferred to trauma hospital

A man who was hospitalized after being hit by a train in Downtown Lodi has taken a turn for the worse, police said Friday.

The 58-year-old man apparently tried to commit suicide Wednesday afternoon, when he laid down on the tracks after seeing a train approaching, Lodi police said at the time. He was conscious and moaning at the scene, and was taken to Lodi Memorial Hospital.

The man has since been transferred to Stanford Medical Center, and hospital officials asked Lodi police to try finding the man's family members, Sgt. Fernando Martinez said.

Officers had contacted a distant relative, but were trying to find the man's next of kin. The man apparently rented a room in Lodi, Martinez said.

Police declined to release the man's name until they notified family members.

- Layla Bohm

Man accused of looking at women in bathroom

A parolee was arrested at the Lodi Grape Festival after allegedly looking under stalls in a women's bathroom Thursday night.

David Anthony Zavala, 40, of Stockton, was jailed on suspicion of loitering in a public bathroom, as well as a parole violation, according to Lodi police.

At 9:33 p.m., a woman contacted police about the man, saying he was in the handicapped stall and had looked under the partition into the stall she was using. When police arrived, a second woman told them the same thing had happened to her.

Police entered and found Zavala in a shower area, though he had no towel or other shower accessories with him, said Detective Tim Fritz.

Zavala made several excuses - "that he was intoxicated, that he thought the fair was over, that he was waiting for his girlfriend to take a shower," Fritz said.

However, police saw no indications of intoxication, the festival was still in full swing and Zavala's girlfriend was not in the bathroom, Fritz said.

Zavala's girlfriend was working at the carnival, but he was not employed at the festival, Fritz added.

Police said Zavala did not solicit the women for any kind of sex acts, and that he did not attempt to touch them.

- Layla Bohm

Congressman Dan Lungren to hold town hall meeting today

Congressman Dan Lungren, R-Gold River, will hold a town hall meeting from 10:30 a.m. to noon today in the Galt High School gymnasium at 145 N. Lincoln way.

He will focus on health care reform legislation he is co- sponsoring with other House colleagues, but he will also answer questions on any other issue.

He is working on two main pieces of legislation: the Patients Choice Act and the Health Care Choice Act.

The bills would "provide portable, quality coverage for those without employer-based coverage and allow Americans to keep the plan they like. All of this without involving the federal government and with no increase in the federal deficit," according to the news release he sent out on the event.

This is his fifth town hall meeting in the past 30 days, and the first since Congress reconvened to work on health care.

For details visit Lungren's Web site.

- Maggie Creamer

Delta dedicating student services building

San Joaquin Delta College will officially open its doors to the new Lawrence A. DeRicco Student Services Building on Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Cunningham 1 parking lot. The 50,000-square-foot building is almost four years in the making. It will consolidate all non-instructional student services into one location and serve as a gateway to the campus.

- Joelle Milholm

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  • posted at 5:04 am on Tue, Sep 22, 2009.


    Oh my gosh...we almost went to Andersons to buy a washer because Maytag is a well known brand and that business has been open in the same place for so long. I was also thanking that in this economey a lot of small businesses are being hurt by the big box retailers. I'm soooo glad I changed my mind and ended up not buying from that thief.

  • posted at 10:16 am on Sun, Sep 20, 2009.


    Hey Trucker; Read some of your posts and you will realize the moronic state of the individual translates into trouble anywhere in the world.

  • posted at 4:24 am on Sun, Sep 20, 2009.


    You know, I'd really like to express my concerns about the Obama Administration running America's finances into the ground with this socialized medicine proposal, but I wouldn't want Dan Lungren labeling me as a Nazi, an agitator or a racist. I wish Condi Rice, Sarah Palin or Colon Powell would have run in '08. I'm amazed at how far left our leadership has taken us thusfar, and I do fear for the future of America unless we take a different tack on all the unbridled, massive spending of money we don't even have.

  • posted at 4:16 am on Sun, Sep 20, 2009.


    As creating as Westerback allegedly is with cash transactions, I hope the business survives him. I bought a dryer blower wheel from Anderson's a few months ago late on a Saturday afternoon when no one else was open or would even care to stock such an item. I really appreciated being able to buy what I needed to do the repair and get my dryer working again on such short notice. What is it with local business owners lately? First it was Blaine, now Dave. Are times really that tough for these folks?

  • posted at 5:06 am on Sat, Sep 19, 2009.


    Why do we have to keep paying to process this perv perp, Zavala? Get rid of him.

  • posted at 4:17 am on Sat, Sep 19, 2009.


    About two years ago now we were going to purchase a washer and dryer from Westerback's business. I remember thinking at the time that something was rather 'shady', because he said he only took cash or credit cards - and on that side of town, dealing with cash only can be a dangerous thing. We ended up making a purchase with our credit card, but, I had such a bad feeling about doing business with that guy that by the time I got home I told my husband that I would feel much better if we canceled our transaction and went somewhere else. I think what the issue was, was that the sales ads that had come out were not matching what was actually on sale in the store, and he gave a bunch of excuses about that, which to me, didn't make sense. We did cancel our transaction and he said our account would be credited. And I think it was. But, there were red flags going off in my mind about doing business with him, and it seems as if my husband and I made the right decision.

  • posted at 4:11 am on Sat, Sep 19, 2009.


    I am glad that the parolee sicko is now in jail where he belongs. Can you imagine if this were a child sex offender and the damage that could have been done to an innocent child? Who would want to even date a man like this? His girlfriend is a whole lot better off without this guy, and hopefully she can learn to really love and respect herself and find somebody better - preferably one who hasn't been to prison - again and again.



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