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Two teenagers suspected of robbing woman

It's not Halloween yet but a masked man struck Wednesday night in Fahrens Park.

Sgt. Alan Ward of the Merced Police Department said a 15-year-old boy and his 17-year-old brother were arrested about 10:21 p.m. on suspicion of armed robbery. The 15-year-old, wearing a Halloween mask and wielding a toy gun, robbed a 39-year-old woman of her purse and jewelry.

The victim told Ward she was walking in the park when a man wearing a Halloween mask and carrying a gun jumped out from behind the park bathrooms. The robber pointed the gun at her and ordered her to give him her purse. The victim immediately complied and the robber ran off towards R Street with the victim's property.

A witness pointed out to responding officers Brian Rinder, Kalvin Haygood, and Joe Perez that the robber ran into an apartment in the 3300 block of R Street. Officers then surrounded the apartment and contacted the residents.

Residents of the apartment pointed out the suspect, an acquaintance, who had just come inside. The victim's property, the Halloween mask, and a fake gun used in the robbery all were recovered from the apartment and the 15-year-old was arrested, Ward said.

Through interviews with witnesses, it was determined that the robbery was planned by the 15-year-old and his 17-year-old brother who planned to rob two women who they had made arrangements to sell drugs to in the park. The victim who was robbed was not the original intended victim of the robbery conspiracy.

Both teenagers were booked into Merced County Juvenile Hall on charges of robbery and conspiracy. The victim was not hurt, Ward said.

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