Detectives have arrested four people, including three Modesto residents, in connection with a series of increasingly violent robberies at Donnelly Park. One of the victims suffered critical injuries.
About 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Turlock police detectives arrested Shaun Santos, 22, and Lavinia Perez, 38, both of Modesto. The detectives also arrested Modesto boy and a Manteca boy, ages 15 and 16, in connection withe robberies. Police did not release the teenagers’ names because they are minors.
Turlock police Sgt. Russ Holeman said investigators identified a suspect vehicle, a white 2004 Kia Sedona with Nevada license plates, after watching security camera video from a nearby business. The detectives then worked with the Manteca Police Department to find the car in Manteca.
The California Highway Patrol and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department helped the Turlock police detectives pull over the Sedona and its occupants in Stockton.
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The suspects were taken into custody without incident and booked at Stanislaus County Jail and the Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall. The detectives found weapons believed to have been used in the robberies, along with some of the stolen property.
Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar said he was proud of his department’s Investigations Unit that worked non-stop, following every lead.
“Their dedication to getting the job done resulted in the quick apprehension of these criminals,” Amirfar said in a news release.
Santos was arrested on suspicion of robbery and attempted murder, Holeman said. Perez and the boys were arrested on suspicion of robbery. The charges stem from two of the three violent robberies at the park in the past three weeks, including one Monday evening that critically injured a man after was accosted about 6 p.m. Monday in the parking lot on the west side of the park.
Holeman said officers found the man with life-threatening injuries after he was assaulted. The victim was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment.
The similar-style robberies have occurred on different days of the week, but each robbery occurred between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Holeman said investigators believe a group of suspects approached the victims in the robberies. In each crime, the suspects demanded the victims to “empty their pockets.”
In the first two robberies, the victims appeared to have been “roughed up.” Holeman said the victim in the first robbery suffered nonlife-threatening injuries and sought treatment on his own. The victim in the second robbery suffered minor injuries.
Turlock police increased patrols at the park, specifically around the time the robberies have occurred in the early evening.
Authorities ask anyone who witnessed these robberies or spotted the suspect vehicle at Donnelly Park around the time of the robberies to call Detective Frank Navarro (209) 664-7319 or the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 ext. 6780. Tipsters also can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.