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3 men arrested in armed robberies

Police arrested three men Thursday in connection with three armed robberies in Modesto and Turlock.

Nobody was injured in any of the robberies, said Sgt. Craig Gundlach. All three happened Thursday night.

Rashad Franco, 19, of Modesto, Kevin Black, 18, of Modesto, and Kevin Johnson Jr., 20, of Ceres were arrested on suspicion of three counts of robbery and possession of a handgun, Gundlach said.

He said the men were arrested during a traffic stop on Carver Road near Rumble Road in Modesto about 10:30 p.m.

"There was evidence obtained in the car that linked them to all three robberies," Gundlach said.

Inside the vehicle, officers found a .45-caliber handgun, an Airsoft toy pistol and property stolen from the victims.

The first robbery occurred in the 700 block of Spindale Drive in Modesto about 8:30 p.m.

Police said two people, a 19-year-old man and 17-year-old boy, were walking together when a white Buick stopped next to them.

Two passengers in the car got out; the driver stayed in the car. The two suspects threatened the victims with a gun and a knife, robbed them, and got back in the car.

Three holdups similar

The second robbery occurred about 9:40 p.m. in the 800 block of Summerton Lane in Turlock.

Police said a 21-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman were in a parked car when a white Buick parked nearby.

A man got out of the Buick and approached the victims with a handgun. The man robbed the two victims and then drove away in the car.

Police said the third robbery occurred in the 1100 block of Pearl Street, back in Modesto, shortly after 10 p.m.

A white Buick stopped next to three boys, 16 and 17 years old, who were walking together. The suspects used a gun and a knife to rob the victims and then drove away in the vehicle.

Officers began searching for the white older model four-door Buick sedan. About 15 minutes after the third robbery, officer Nick Bloed spotted the Buick on Carver Road. Officers stopped the car and made the arrests.

Investigators ask anyone with information about these or similar robberies to call Modesto police Detective Darren Ruskamp at 572-9572 or Turlock police Detective Doug Ravaglioli at 668-5550, ext. 6624. Information also can be given to Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at 578-2394 or rahumada@modbee.com.

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