Police are looking into whether any of several recent armed robberies of Modesto businesses are related.
In images posted on the Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers' Facebook page, there's at least one striking similarity in two robberies: One of the criminals is wearing a white hooded sweatshirt or jacket with an insignia on the left chest area and two horizontal stripes on at least the left sleeve.
The latest robbery posted was Friday evening at the College Market, at College and Bowen avenues. The post says that two males described as black or Middle Eastern entered the market at 6:30 p.m., armed with handguns. They demanded money from the clerk and fled on food.
Both are wearing hoodies and masks that conceal the lower halves of their faces.
The hoodie with two stripes on the arm looks identical to that worn by one of two armed males who robbed the Saveland Market, 1500 Dallas St., on Oct. 23.
In that robbery, one wore a white hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and white shoes. The other wore a black hooded sweatshirt, tan pants and white shoes. The hoods were drawn tight around their faces.
On Oct. 28, two men robbed a clerk at the Valero gas station, 801 Seventh St., at gunpoint. One wore a gray Nike hoodie and was described as a black or Latino male in his 20s. The other wore a black True Religion hoodie and was described as a black male in his 20s. From the surveillance images, it isn't clear if either wore a mask.
On Oct. 24, one man robbed the Village Wine and Spirits shop at Sylvan Avenue and Claus Road. He was described as black and in his 20s, 6-foot-1 and about 150 to 160 pounds. He wore a gray hooded Nike sweatshirt and no mask.
As the quality of surveillance systems' images has improved, it's become common for criminals to wear hoods tightly pulled around their faces.
Anyone with information on any of these robberies is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Tipsters can email through the Crime Stoppers website, www.stancrimetips.org. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.