CERES — A Modesto man is in the hospital after the man police say he tried to rob shot him twice.
Ceres police said David Lucas, 32, stole a car in the 800 block of Central Avenue about 2:30 p.m. Monday. Less than 15 minutes later, while driving nearby in a quiet neighborhood in the 2300 block of Millcreek Drive, Lucas saw a 69-year-old man working in his garage, said department spokeswoman Carissa Higginbotham.
Lucas reportedly walked up to the homeowner and tried to rob him at knife point. But the victim managed to get to the .38-caliber handgun he had stashed in his garage.
The man shot Lucas once; then the two struggled briefly over the gun, police said. The homeowner regained control of the weapon and shot the suspect again. Bleeding from wounds to the arm and the buttocks, Lucas ran across the street and entered a neighbor's back yard, where officers found him.
Police took a gun and knife from the victim's home as evidence.
Contacted by phone Monday evening, the 69-year-old man said he wanted everything to "settle down" and didn't want to discuss the incident. He did say he was happy the situation worked out in his favor.
Lucas was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he is in stable condition. On his release he will be arrested on suspicion of crimes associated with the car theft and attempted robbery, Higginbotham said. Detectives learned that he had a no-bail warrant for his arrest alleging failure to report to the Alternative Work Program.
The stolen vehicle was recovered down the street from the scene of the attempted robbery and shooting.
Ceres police ask anyone with information on this case to contact Detective Darren Venn at (209) 538-5616.
Bee staff writer Erin Tracy can be reached at email@example.com or (209)578-2366.