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Stanislaus County Crime

Information on crimes that happen in Stanislaus County.

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Nathan Yarbrough (Stanislaus County Jail)


Police in Modesto arrested a man Thursday after they say he tried to set a woman in a wheelchair on fire.

Officers were flagged down near 18th Street and G Street at about noon, police say. The woman told police that she was waiting to cross the street when a man came up to her, called her the devil and started pouring lighter fluid on her legs.

The man then pulled out a lighter and tried to ignite the lighter fluid before the woman’s husband showed up and scared him off.

An officer spotted the man, 45-year-old Nathan Yarbrough, walking near Burney and 17th Streets. Yarbrough still had the lighter fluid and wouldn’t do what the officer asked.

Police say as the officer was waiting for backup before taking Yarbrough into custody, Yarbrough poured lighter fluid on the officer’s feet. Yarbrough was arrested without further incident.

Yarbrough was booked into Stanislaus County Jail for attempted murder, assault with a caustic chemical and elder abuse.

Neither the woman nor the officer was injured after having Yarbrough’s lighter fluid dumped on them.

Local News

3 Men and Woman Arrested, Weapons and Marijuana Confiscated


Three men and a woman with a baby were arrested Thursday morning in Modesto, the weapons and dozens of marijuana plants at their home were confiscated.

Drug agents and deputies from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office were out at a home along Dallas Street on the south side of Modesto early in the morning to serve the search warrant.

Agents suspected there were weapons inside the home, so they asked for SWAT officers to be back-up, however there was no standoff situation.

They found three assault rifles, a pistol and 50 marijuana plants at the home.

The three men inside the home were taken into custody. The woman had a six-month-old baby with her at the time agents arrived, and they arrested her for child endangerment.


Modesto Police arrested a registered sex offender Tuesday for allegedly sexually assaulting a teen on a city bus the day after he was released from prison.

Officers say someone reported seeing a man assaulting a 15-year-old girl on a city bus traveling through downtown Modesto. Police arrived to the 9th Street Transit Center.

Police say when officers boarded the bus, they saw passengers physically restraining 37-year-old Kevin Long. Long was then taken into custody by police.

Long was released Monday from Corcoran State Prison in Kings County and paroled to Modesto, according to investigators.

Investigators say the teen victim was riding on the bus and Long had been making sexual comments to her.

“He pushed his left hand into her right shoulder and reached for her private parts,” said bus passenger and witness Joseph Baretta.

Passengers on the bus stopped Long and were able to restrain him until police arrived.

“That’s when I acted and was able to wrestle him to the floor of the bus,” Baretta told FOX40.

Another passenger, Curtis Mitchell, grabbed Long and held his legs down. In all, it took four people to subdue Long, who was screaming the whole time.

“(He was saying) demonic things. Devilish things,” said Baretta.

Long now sits in Stanislaus County Jail, charged with lewd acts with a minor, sexual battery and parole violation.

“I think the State of California should take a better look at who they’re releasing,” said Baretta. “I can’t understand why he wasn’t monitored.”

Police in Modesto say a man was found dead in an alley behind a senior citizens center Wednesday afternoon.

At about 1:47 p.m., police say a passerby spotted the body in the alley just off of Scenic Drive, near Melrose Street.

Officers say the man appears to be in his 30s, and aren’t sure whether he suffered a gunshot or a stab wound.

The Modesto Senior Citizens Center is closed.


A 31-year-old woman says she found flames about five feet high in her front yard after hearing an explosion late Monday night.

Firefighters were able to the limit the fire to the front yard of the N Center and E Rose Street home.

Two glass bottles with accelerant and rags attached looks to have caused the explosion and fire, an investigation later determined.

Details about a possible suspect are scarce, with him being described as an 18 to 25 year old who got away from the scene on a 10-speed bicycle.


Ceres Police officers found 80 marijuana plants and two malnourished horses at a Collins Road home Monday afternoon.

The plants were in a fenced-off area on the one-acre property, police say. Two teens, both 17 years old, were home when officers came over, but were released at the scene. They told investigators that their parents would be home later in the evening.

One man, 40, was later arrested by police.

Along with the plants, officers found two horses that appeared to be neglected and malnourished. Stanislaus County Animal Control took custody of the horses.

Ceres Police say they’ve seized $9 million of marijuana from two homes. Chris Biele reports.


Ceres Police say three search warrants Thursday led them to 193 marijuana plants they say have a street value of nearly $9 million.

Neighbors of a home on Don Pedro Road had reported a marijuana plant that had grown to be 12 feet, well above the fence line.

An investigation led to the Ceres Street Crimes Unit getting search warrants for three homes.

According to a news release from the Ceres Police Department, investigators were “amazed” to see so many tall marijuana plants. The home on Don Pedro Road had 78 plants that had grown above 12 feet high.

Another home, on El Camino Avenue, had plants that had grown to three feet high.

The total street value of the plants seized was placed at $8.79 million.