Man, woman held in generator theft

By Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat

A 48-year-old man wanted in Stanislaus County on suspicion of theft and a local woman were arrested Tuesday morning in Sonora after police say a stolen generator was found in the trunk of their car.

Sonora police said officers conducted a traffic stop about 8 a.m. on a 1989 Ford Crown Victoria for a mechanical violation in a parking lot on the 300 block of South Washington Street.

Officers could smell marijuana in the car and the driver, Trina Renee Jones, 34, of Sonora, admitted to having several "joints" in the ashtray, police said.

Her passenger identified himself as Ray Eshaya, but a records check showed a "near miss" on a person with a similar last name and date of birth, the report said.

Officers were eventually able to positively identify the passenger as Eshaya Gilbert Eshaya, of Modesto, through his tattoos and an identification card found during a search of the car, according to a Sonora police statement.

A felony theft arrest warrant out of Stanislaus County was also discovered through the records check, Sonora police said.

The vehicle search later uncovered more marijuana and a generator in the trunk, the police statement said. Jones and Eshaya gave officers conflicting accounts of how the generator was obtained, police said.

An investigation led to Orchard Supply Hardware on Mono Way, where a generator worth $800 had been reported stolen the afternoon of Sept. 25. An officer contacted a manager and confirmed the generator was the one stolen in the earlier theft, Sonora police said.

A surveillance video of the alleged theft was reviewed by officers, who determined Jones and Eshaya worked together to steal the generator, according to Sonora police.

Both suspects were arrested and Jones was booked into Tuolumne County Jail on suspicion of felony burglary, possession of stolen property and criminal conspiracy. She posted $15,000 bail that same day and was released, according to jail officials.

Eshaya was booked on suspicion of felony possession of stolen property, criminal conspiracy, petty theft with a prior conviction and a misdemeanor charge of providing false identification to a peace officer.

He remained in jail Wednesday, where the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service placed him on a no-bail hold on suspicion of being in the country illegally, according to jail booking logs.

Both Jones and Eshaya were scheduled to be arraigned in Tuolumne County Superior Court on Thursday, the District Attorney's Office said.

The Union Democrat
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