Ceres Police Department
Brent Smith- Chief of Police
August 14th, 2018
3:30 PM- For immediate release
Contact: Sgt. Greg Yotsuya (209) 538-5719
Ceres, Calif. – On August 11th, 2018 at 7:00 AM, Investigators with the Ceres Police Department executed a search warrant in the 2200 Blk. of Cassandra Wy. Modesto. This capped off months long investigation into a rash of box store burglaries and robberies in and around Ceres by Detective Eric Gallegos. Investigators had noticed an increase in burglaries and robberies at stores such as Walmart and Home Depot with shopping carts full of merchandise being stolen. This prompted the investigation.
Through several weeks of investigation and surveillance, Detectives learned of a fencing operation being operated out of homes in the 2200 Blk. of Cassandra Wy. and the 1400 Blk. of Rosemore Ave. Modesto. Detectives developed enough evidence to obtain a search warrant for both locations.
During the service of the search warrants, investigators came up empty at the Rosemore Ave. location. They found what they were looking at the Cassandra Wy. location when they discovered an estimated $250,000.00 worth of stolen merchandise. The stolen items ranged from whey protein powder, video game consoles and household fixtures to power tools and pond pumps. In all, three trailers full of stolen merchandise were recovered.
Investigators learned that the suspect, identified as Travis GARVIN 36 Yrs. of Modesto, had a fairly elaborate operation. People would steal items from various stores and call in the UPC label numbers to Garvin. Garvin would research the retail cost of the item on the internet, than pay a quarter of that price for the stolen item. He would then sell the item for half price on eBay.
In the next few days, Detectives will be working with area retailers to process and return the stolen merchandise to the rightful owners. So far, merchandise belonging to Home Depot, Walmart, Lowe’s and Harbor Freight has been identified.