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Man in custody after allegedly taking wallet

A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of strong-arm robbery Wednesday, after he and four others allegedly robbed a man of his wallet.

The incident was reported shortly before 2 a.m. near West 11th and K streets, according to Cmdr. Floyd Higdon. The victim, an adult male, told police that he was approached by Carlos Alexander Sanchez of Merced, and four other suspects, who asked him for money, Higdon said.

Police did not release the name or age of the victim.

The victim told Sanchez that he didn't have any money, Higdon said. As the victim walked to the corner of 11th and K streets, the five males approached the suspect and began pushing and punching him, knocking him to the ground. Higdon said they then began kicking the victim and took the wallet from the man's pocket.

Higdon said the victim tried to get away, but Sanchez pushed him and said he'd be killed if he called police. Sanchez also made numerous gang slurs and signs during the attack, police said.

After police arrived at the scene, officers found a house on West 11th Street, where the suspects allegedly fled to. Sanchez was found at the house, and the victim identified him in an in-field lineup.

The other suspects remain at large. Sanchez was booked on suspicion of strong-arm robbery, intimidation of a witness and committing a crime to further the efforts of a street gang. He was also wanted on two outstanding warrants, Higdon said. His bail was set at $216,750.

Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to call Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4702 or the department's tip line at (209) 385-4725. Callers can remain anonymous.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.

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