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Robberies May Be Connected
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Four robberies, three of them armed, occurred in Riverbank during December and early January and may be connected, said Detective Mark Copeland.

Close to 10 p.m. on Dec. 9, two Hispanic men displaying a shotgun and handgun entered the Stop'N Save market at Atchison and Eighth streets and took the contents of the till. They wore masks and gloves and left on foot - or at least were not seen to get into a vehicle.

About 6 p.m. on Dec. 20, two Hispanics approached a couple of patrons drawing into the Galaxy Theatre parking lot, another remaining beside a black mid 1900s Chevy pickup truck. The two strangers asked the man to change a $1 bill, said Copeland. When he refused and the couple got back into their vehicle and rolled up the windows to leave, one of the three assailants tapped on the glass with a handgun and forced the driver to give up his wallet.

Near 7 p.m. on Dec. 31 in the Red Robin parking lot at the Crossroads Shopping Center, a Hispanic male approached a woman who was parking her car and demanded she give up her purse. When she refused and tried to get back into her vehicle, her assailant threatened her and took her purse by force. He appeared to have no weapon and left the scene in a 1990s black, four-door Honda Civic.

During the evening of Jan. 3 at the Circle T Market at Terminal and Kentucky avenues, two masked men in their 20s and carrying a shotgun and a revolver, accosted a man pumping gas outside while his girlfriend waited in their vehicle. The assailants forced them into the market where they robbed them and the store clerk of two wallets and also stole $2,000 from the cash till.

All the robbers were Hispanic males and all the incidents occurred after dark, Copeland noted. Two were at convenience store markets, two happened outside in parking lots and all but one incident involved the display of firearms, said Copeland, adding he suspected some connection.

Witnesses or anybody who has information on these crimes is asked to call the Crime Stoppers number at 209-521-4636.