Investigators on Thursday arrested four gang members suspected of robbing cash from two Modesto convenience stores at gunpoint in the past week, police said Friday.
Miguel Avina, 27, of Modesto, John Bravo, 31, of Modesto, Erik Rocha, 19, of Ceres and a 16-year-old Modesto boy were arrested on suspicion of robbery and criminal conspiracy with an gang enhancement to their charges, said Sgt. Rick Armendariz, a Modesto police spokesman.
Police did not release the Modesto boy’s name because he is a minor. Armendariz said the four suspects are believed to be members of Norteño street gang.
The first robbery occurred about 9 p.m. Aug. 14 at PJ Market at 501 E. Morris Ave. in central Modesto. Armendariz said three robbers entered the market, demanded money from an employee and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.
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The second robbery occurred about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday at a Valero gas station at 145 N. Santa Cruz Ave. in Modesto’s La Loma neighborhood. Armendariz said three robbers demanded cash from an employee before they left with an undisclosed amount of cash and some merchandise.
The robbers were last seen leaving in a dark-colored vehicle heading toward La Loma Avenue.Armendariz said the robbers were armed with handguns and wore disguises to conceal their identities in both robberies.
Police ask anyone who may have information about these robberies to call gang investigator Sean Martin at 342-6116 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters also can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site at, www.stancrimetips.org, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing “Tip704” plus your message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at 578-2394.