Police: Modesto man suspect in 15 robberies; three in Merced County

01/09/2014 8:11 PM

01/09/2014 8:12 PM

A Modesto man is under investigation in at least 15 recent robberies, including several in Merced and Stanislaus counties, the Atwater Police Department said Thursday.

Troy L. Boutelle, 47, surrendered earlier this week to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and was booked on suspicion of four counts of robbery. He is being held on $255,000 bail, according to Stanislaus County Jail records.

Boutelle is also under investigation in connection with five robberies in Lodi, three in Stockton, two in Manteca and at least one each in Galt and Elk Grove, Atwater police Detective Anthony Cardoza said.

A time frame for those robberies was not available Thursday.

No injuries were reported in any of the robberies and no weapons were used, police said.

“His (Boutelle’s) description is very similar to the suspect in the cases in the other areas,” Cardoza said.

Boutelle was arraigned Wednesday and is scheduled to appear in court today for a pretrial hearing, according to Stanislaus County Superior Court records.

Cardoza, the lead investigator in the Merced County cases, said Atwater police received a tip this week linking Boutelle to three December robberies in the Atwater area.

In each case, a man entered a store and handed a clerk a note demanding money, Cardoza said.

Lt. Samuel Joseph said a man took $300 on Dec. 2 from a Subway sandwich shop on Shaffer Road.

Boutelle is a suspect in a Dec. 11 robbery at the Armstrong Feed Store in which $1,200 was taken, Atwater police said, and is under investigation in connection with a robbery on Dec. 20 at the California Tanning Company on Bellevue Road, where $100 was stolen, police said.

Investigators received a break in the case after someone who knew Boutelle saw a photograph of a robbery suspect published in The Modesto Bee, police said. The Bee printed a surveillance-camera image on Jan. 3 showing a man in a black jacket robbing a Papa Murphy’s Take ’N’ Bake Pizza shop on West Las Palmas Avenue in Patterson on Dec. 29.

The Stanislaus Sheriff’s Department could not be reached for comment.

Joseph praised Atwater police detectives’ “good work” finding evidence that they said links Boutelle as a suspect in at least 15 robberies.

Atwater police said their investigation could lead to additional charges being filed against Boutelle by the Merced County District Attorney’s Office.

Boutelle pleaded guilty Oct. 22, 2010, to a felony count of receiving stolen property. He was sentenced to six months in the Merced County Jail and three years of probation, according to Merced County Superior Court records.

Boutelle pleaded no contest in 2007 to a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to a felony count of receiving stolen property, according to Stanislaus County Superior Court records.

In 2003, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor burglary charge and received 18 months of probation, according to Merced County court records.

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