Police link Walmart arrest to robbery

June 26, 2013 

cpride@losbanosenterprise.com

A man arrested on suspicion of shoplifting last week is also a person of interest in an armed robbery at a fast-food restaurant in April, police said.

The Los Banos Police Department arrested Gregory Valencia, 22, of Dos Palos on June 13 at Walmart in the 1500 block of West Pacheco Boulevard. The incident was reported at 8:12 p.m.

Valencia allegedly threatened to shoot a store employee who tried to stop him from stealing, police said.

Officer Christopher Borchardt, with the help of other officers, stopped Valencia in a red Chrysler convertible at the intersection of Sixth Street and Pacheco Boulevard. A second male, 29, was found in the vehicle. He was not arrested, police said. Authorities said they did not find a gun on either Valencia or the passenger.

Detective Jake Bento recognized Valencia as having a similar appearance to a suspect wanted in an April 28 armed robbery at Carl's Jr. in the 1900 Block of East Pacheco Boulevard.

"The suspect has been cooperating with our detectives and is providing details regarding both cases," Cmdr. Ray Reyna Jr. said.

Valencia was arrested on suspicion of robbery, commercial burglary, possession of stolen property, providing false information to a law enforcement officer and having an outstanding warrant. He is in custody at the Merced Main Jail pending $82,000 bail.

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