In this undated photo provided by the Manteca Police Department are three Tillamook Cheese vans that were stolen Saturday July 12, 2014. Police in Central California are searching for three bright orange Tillamook cheese vans that were stolen over the weekend. Manteca police say the restored Volkswagen minibuses, worth $100,000 each, vanished early Saturday from a hotel parking lot. They were secured in a trailer pulled by a Ford F-350 pickup that also painted orange. Police say the minivans had stopped in Manteca on a tour promoting the Oregon-based Tillamook County Creamery Association's dairy products. (AP Photo/Manteca Police Dept.)

2 arrested in theft of cheese vans in California

More Photos

See all photos

MANTECA, Calif. (AP) -- Two men were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of stealing three Volkswagen minibuses that were customized to look like bright orange Tillamook cheese loafs.

Brian Lancaster, 32, and Ryan Monaco, 38, both of Sacramento, were pulled over in Rocklin, California, and they were taken into custody by members of an auto theft task force, Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion said.

The minibuses, worth $100,000 each, were stolen Saturday from a hotel parking lot in Manteca, where they had stopped on a tour promoting the Oregon-based Tillamook County Creamery Association's dairy products.

A tip led investigators to the vehicles Monday in a storage locker about 50 miles away from Manteca. Obligacion said one of the suspects had rented the storage locker.

Lancaster and Monaco were being held for investigation of auto theft, possession of stolen vehicles, conspiracy and arson. It wasn't immediately known whether they have retained attorneys.

A truck and trailer that were part of the entourage were found torched and abandoned on Saturday.

The minibuses were found in their original condition.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Top Stories

  • Joining the LOB
    It's never easy being the new guy, but Tharold Simon is already making his mark

  • Smartphone Safety
    Our phones entertain us, inform us and now might protect us

  • Pumpkin Assault
    Pumpkin-flavored items are coming to store shelves whether it's fall or not
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.