Three bikes stolen at gunpoint

jsmith@mercedsunstar.comMarch 4, 2013 

The Merced Police Department is investigating two separate robberies involving bicycles taken at gunpoint Friday night, officers reported Sunday.

In the first incident, two people were walking out of Target in the 3200 block of R Street about 7:45 p.m. when three Latino boys held up the shoppers at gunpoint, according to police.

The victims, who lost their bicycles in the incident, described the robbers as between the ages of 16 and 17, according to police. No one was hurt.

The victim's bicycles were found by authorities in Black Rascal Creek. Officers are reviewing video from Target to try to identify the suspects.

In the second robbery, a man was riding his bicycle to the Valero gas station at G Street and East Alexander Avenue at 10:05 p.m. when he ran into a friend fighting with two men, according to police.

As the man approached the fight, one of the two men pulled out a gun from his waistband. The second suspect punched the victim and took his bicycle.

The victim ran into the gas station with the armed man following him. The victim was able to escape, and the suspects fled before officers could arrive.

However, 20 minutes later, two men that fit the description the victim had provided were picked up on the 100 block of East Alexander. The victim identified the men as the ones who robbed him. Shortly after, officers said, they found the victim's bicycle and a black handgun replica.

Christopher Olvera, 18, and Ruben Avila, 18, were booked at Merced County Jail on robbery charges.

Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or jsmith@mercedsunstar.com.

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