Two people have been arrested in the shooting of a 39-year-old man earlier this week in Merced's Loughborough area.
Merced police have identified Ricky Sou Saelee, 23, and Amanda Regina Barrera, 25, as the suspects in the robbery and shooting about 2 a.m. May 6 in the 1700 block of Conestoga Drive.
Sgt. Scott Skinner said Thursday that police believe one of the suspects knew the victim was carrying money.
The victim told police he was sleeping in the back of his vehicle when the female suspect approached and asked to use his phone. The victim agreed.
She left and returned several hours later, asking to use the victim's phone again and he agreed. As she was using his phone, the male suspect appeared, asking if he also could use it, according to Skinner.
When the victim refused to let the man use his phone, the man opened the passenger door and shot the victim, police said. The pair fled the area with the victim's phone.
The victim was taken to a Modesto hospital and later released.
Detectives followed up on the case and arrested Saelee on Thursday. Police said Saelee tried to flee from his residence in the 1600 block of East 26th Street when parole agents went there to conduct a search.
During the search, agents found a .38-caliber handgun in a black backpack in the home's back yard.
Barrera was arrested about 5 p.m. Monday by Detective Paul Johnson in the 3000 block of Park Avenue. Police found Barrera in possession of the victim's phone.
A check of the victim's phone showed that just prior to the shooting the number called was to Saelee's phone, police said. Barrera denied any involvement in the robbery.
Saelee admitted the backpack containing the handgun was his but claimed the weapon belonged to a relative. Saelee denied any involvement in the shooting, but he admitted getting a call from Barrera asking him for a handgun. Saelee claimed he left the handgun outside his residence for Barrera.
Detectives are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Detective Chris Russell at (209) 385-4707 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-6992.
Tips can be sent via anonymous text message by dialing "TIP411" (847411) and including the word "ComVIP" as the keyword in the text message.