The Gustine Police Department captured two women wanted in connection with a carjacking in Tuolumne County after a short pursuit that ended with a crash in a Gustine orchard.
The vehicle, a Honda, was allegedly taken during a carjacking at the Chicken Ranch Casino in Jamestown, in which a victim was pistol-whipped, said Gustine Police Chief Ruben Chavez.
Around 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23, Gustine Police Officer Gonzales and Cpl. Martinez were on patrol when they noticed an unoccupied Honda parked in the 100 block of 2nd Street. A check revealed that the Honda had been reported stolen out of Tuolumne County.
Officer Gonzales and Cpl. Martinez set up surveillance on the vehicle. During their surveillance the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department sent Gustine the report of the carjacking and it identified Dulce Crystal Magana Morfin, 27, of Newman and Silvia Vargas, 27, of Gustine as two of the three suspects wanted for the carjacking.
Just before 5 p.m. Morfin and Vargas got into the Honda and started to drive away, with Cpl. Martinez following behind to make a traffic stop and Officer Gonzales following in a secondary car, said Chavez.
Morfin was driving the Honda and she turned eastbound on Highway 140 from 2nd Street and then made an immediate northbound turn onto S. Hunt Road and then started speeding away with the patrol cars following behind.
Morfin turned the Honda westbound onto Preston Road and then made an immediate turn onto Canal School Road.
Morfin lost control of the Honda at Canal School Road and Bonanza Drive and it careened into an orchard and struck a tree. The two women were apprehended at the crash scene.
After being medically cleared, Morfin and Vargas were booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy, auto theft, assault likely to cause bodily harm and possession of stolen property. Morfin also was charged with driving on a suspended license and an outstanding warrant.
The Newman Police Dertment and the California Highway Patrol assisted with the arrest.