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Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 10:00 pm

Two suspected of identity theft

Two Lodi residents who were arrested after police allegedly found documents linking them to a thousand stolen identities will be arraigned in court today.

Larnelle Sanchez, 22, and Brenda Smidt, 38, were arrested Monday after detectives served a search warrant at a home in the 2300 block of West Elm Street.

The case began earlier that day when police, believing a stolen car was in the garage, recovered the vehicle and confirmed that it had been stolen, said Lodi police Detective Sierra Brucia. When officers saw evidence of drugs and forged documents, they called in detectives.

Inside the home, detectives found loan and credit applications, social security numbers, fraudulent drivers' licenses and checks, Brucia said. Numerous names and pieces of information were filed and organized in binders, file cabinets and on a computer, he said.

In addition, police found a handgun and methamphetamine, as well as two marijuana plants growing in the backyard, Brucia said.

Smidt, who had two warrants in unrelated cases, was being held at the Lodi jail, while Sanchez was cited for misdemeanors and released, according to jail records.

Brucia didn't know how many victims would ultimately be revealed, but he advised people to shred personal documents before disposing of them.

Bus-jacking suspect's mental status being evaluated

Court proceedings against a man accused of trying to carjack a San Joaquin County transit bus have been put on hold while his mental status is evaluated.

Jesus Solorio, 44, was arrested May 27 after allegedly threatening the bus driver with a knife, then fleeing on Kettleman Lane.

Charged with attempted carjacking, brandishing a weapon and possession of a concealed weapon, Solorio was jailed with bail set at $120,000.

He remains in custody but on Monday, his case was transferred to Stockton court, where a judge will take up the issue of whether Solorio is mentally competent to stand trial, according to court records.

A court date on that matter has been set for Thursday.

No injuries in crash between animal control truck, car

There were no injuries when a man allegedly hit an animal control truck Tuesday afternoon, then fled the scene.

The suspect was caught a minute later by a parks officer who happened to be in the area.

Jose Leonardo Razo Jr., 22, was allegedly driving on a suspended license when the collision happened at Turner Road and Sacramento Street. He then allegedly fled south, turning west onto Louie Avenue.

A parks officer, hearing the description of the silver sports car broadcast over his radio, saw the vehicle and stopped it in the 600 block of Eureka Avenue. Leonardo was arrested at the scene and a tow truck was called for his vehicle.

Council meeting to focus on charging candidates to run

The Lodi City Council is expected tonight to decide whether council candidates have to pay up to $1,300 to run in November. The first-time fee would go toward printing, handling, translating and mailing candidate statements.

In other action, council members are expected to weigh moving $887,238 from the General Fund Capital account to the Transit Fund to cover a deficit created last year after not receiving a series of state and federal grants.

At tonight's meeting, council members are also scheduled to appropriate $258,000 for improvements to the White Slough Wastewater Facility improvement project and make various appointments to city boards and commissions.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.

Finance Department to close for move to new quarters

The Lodi Finance Department will close at noon Thursday and will open Tuesday at its new office at 300 W. Pine St.

Telephone service will also be disconnected during the move.

No requests for utility service changes or connections will be taken, and payments can only be made at the drop box located in front of City Hall, 221 W. Pine St.

The department is moving from its current location into the former Acordia Insurance building.

Highway interchange options topic of Galt chamber luncheon

Galt public works officials will discuss the three options for a new Highway 99 interchange at C Street at Thursday's Galt District Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

The lunch will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hunan House Restaurant, located in Galt Plaza shopping center, 1067 C St. Lunch costs $8.50. Reservations are requested. For more information, call 745-2529.

Police protection, traffic top Lockeford MAC agenda

San Joaquin County Sheriff's Lt. Bruce Wuest will discuss Lockeford's request for additional law enforcement protection at Thursday's meeting of the Lockeford Municipal Advisory Council.

A committee consisting of council members and directors from the Lockeford Community Services District are investigating the possibility of contracting with the sheriff's department to add more deputies or to hire a private security company.

The topic first came up in February, when Lockeford resident Richard Eklund requested the need for additional law enforcement. Lockeford is an unincorporated community that relies on the sheriff's department for its police protection.

In other action Thursday, a representative from the California Highway Patrol will discuss traffic enforcement in the Lockeford area, and Rick Matsuka from the county's Code Enforcement Division will discuss code enforcement in the Lockeford area.

Thursday's meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Lockeford Community Center's McDonald Building, 19456 N. Jack Tone Road. For more information, call 727-0212.

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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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