The first automated attempt to cull tips from a neighborhood rocked by violence last week has come up empty-handed.
But detectives say it's not too late to give police information that could help solve a double homicide and prevent more violence.
Meanwhile, police have stepped up patrols near Alturas Avenue and Western Way, where two men were gunned down Thursday about 7:15 p.m.
Police on Monday identified the two victims as Gregorio Mendoza-Gomez, 32, of Perris, outside Riverside, and Salvador Benitez-Perez, 25, of Sacramento.
Three hours after the shooting, Modesto police used an automated phone system called HipLink to alert neighbors about what had happened. The message asked residents to call detectives with any information about what they had seen or heard.
The phone call reached about 80 to 100 households, but it has generated no tips, said police spokesman Sgt. Brian Findlen.
This is the first time police have used HipLink to ask for leads. Police used the automated system in August to notify 3,300 residents about a manhunt for four suspected killers.
No arrests have been made in connection with the Thursday shooting. Police gave no details about what the men were thought to be doing in Modesto. The men were found shot several times in an alley behind a house that's been vacant for several months, neighbors said.
Patrol officers are making more visits to the neighborhood in response to the shooting, Findlen said. Depending on what time of day it is, from four to six patrol officers usually are assigned to south and west Modesto.
This week, they've been joined by the department's street crimes unit. Chief Mike Harden recently "refocused" the street crimes unit to target gang activity.
"The bottom line is we have increased patrol in that area and we will continue to do so as we deem necessary," Findlen said.
But extra patrol only goes so far. Information from neighbors is crucial, police say.
"It still goes back to the citizens being involved," Mayor Jim Ridenour said. "Everybody should know that they can report anything through Crime Stoppers. The more you report to Crime Stoppers, the faster and easier it is for the police to do their job."
Thursday's victims weren't from Modesto, but two nearby shootings in recent years injured young neighborhood residents. In April 2008, a toddler was wounded in a drive-by shooting in the 300 block of H Street. In August 2007, a 14-year-old boy was paralyzed when a stray bullet shot into his Raube Court living room.
Detectives ask anyone with information about Thursday's shooting to call the Modesto Police Department at 572-9500 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters also can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.
Bee staff writer Leslie Albrecht can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2378. Follow her at Twitter.com/BeeReporter.