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Third robbery in two weeks being investigated by Los Banos police

LOS BANOS -- Three robberies have taken place in the last two weeks here, two of them in the 500 block of Pacheco Boulevard, the major arterial that bisects the community. It's possible the incidents are connected but police say such speculation may be a bit premature.

Cmdr. Gary Brizzee said Sunday there have been no new developments in the robberies, the latest of which took place Friday at 10:53 a.m. at a pizzeria. The 18-year-old manager of the pizza restaurant was robbed by a man brandishing a shotgun and wearing a ski mask. She was not hurt.

Three schools in the vicinity were temporarily locked down following reports the robber was running down the street with the shotgun. Brizzee said the robber was spotted near Sixth Street and Washington Avenue, where he entered a compact, silver-colored car last seen traveling eastbound on Adams Avenue.

Brizzee said the restaurant manager was preparing to leave for a delivery when a man wearing a ski mask allegedly approached her.

On Dec. 29 a woman was allegedly assaulted and robbed as she exited a local bank and last Tuesday a man wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt and white handkerchief over his face walked into a fast-food restaurant at closing time and demanded money from the manager.

Brizzee said the manager of the Tuesday robbery said he feared the suspect had a weapon because his hand was in his pocket.

Police are also investigating if the two Los Banos restaurant robberies are related in any way because of the shared similarities between the two suspects, Brizzee said.

"It's a consideration but we can't confirm if they were done by the same person," he said.

The suspect in the pizzeria robbery is described as a thin, male black adult, approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a black-hooded jacket, blue jeans and a black ski mask.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Ivan Mendez at 826-7070, ext. 117, or Detective Chet Stygar at 827-7070, ext. 134.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger

can be reached at 209 385-2485 or Los Banos Enterprise reporter Minerva Perez

contributed to this report.