Two Manteca teenagers are suspected of committing two armed robberies in popular shopping center parking lots, first at Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto then at Bass Pro Shops in Manteca.
The robbery outside of the mall occurred just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, according to Modesto Police Sgt. Kalani Souza.
He said a man and woman had just left Buffalo Wild Wings and were sitting in their car when they were approached by a black man wearing dark clothing and brandishing a firearm.
The victims complied with his orders to give him money and he got into the passenger side of a white sedan.
The victims began following the white sedan and the suspect fired at them, striking their vehicle once, Souza said.
Modesto Police alerted surrounding agencies of the robbery and about 20 minutes later Manteca Police were dispatched to a robbery in the parking lot of Bass Pro Shops, said Manteca Police Lt. Stephen Schluer.
The victim in Manteca told police he was sitting in his vehicle when a black man in his late teens, wearing a gray sweatsuit approached, pointed a black semi-automatic pistol at him and demanded his money.
After giving the suspect money, the victim called 911, then watched as the suspect got into the passenger side of a two-door white sedan, which left before officers arrived, according to Schluer.
The victim gave Manteca Police a description of the suspect and the vehicle and officers later obtained video of the vehicle, which captured a license plate number.
Officers located the vehicle the next morning at a Shell station on E. Yosemite Avenue, according to Schluer.
The driver, Charles Lesley Jr., 18, was taken into custody without incident and booked on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy.
Investigators learned Lesley drove the white vehicle during the robberies.
“Information was also developed to identify the second suspect who actually committed the robbery and had the firearm,” read a press release from Schluer.
He was identified as 18-year-old Juanya Laddtermore.
Manteca Police Department’s SWAT team served a search warrant at Laddtermore’s Manteca apartment and arrested him Wednesday night.
The firearm used in the robbery was located hidden in the apartment, according to Schluer.
Laddtermore was booked on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy, assault with a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, criminal storage of a firearm and possession of a firearm with a serial number removed.
Souza said the suspects’ involvement in the Modesto case remains under investigation.
If they are determined to be involved, an arrest warrant will be obtained and they will be brought to Stanislaus County after the conclusion of their case in San Joaquin County, he said.