Two gang members arrested for alleged robbery, police say

Two documented gang members were arrested Friday night for allegedly robbing a man in the 1200 block of West 8th Street, Merced police reported.

The incident was reported around 10 p.m., after the victim flagged down a Merced police officer, saying he'd been robbed. The victim said he was approached by two males, who accused him of stealing a stereo, according to Lt. Tom Trindad.

One of the suspects punched the victim in the face. The victim ran away, but when he returned to his car, he discovered the robbers had taken his stereo face plate. The victim knew one of the suspects, identifying him as a 17-year-old male juvenile. Officers went to the juvenile's home and found him with the second suspect, 22-year-old Jose Zarate, Trindad said.

Zarate and the juvenile were arrested on suspicion of strong armed robbery. Zarate was booked into the Merced County Jail, while the 17-year-old was booked into juvenile hall.

Detectives are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call (209) 388-8889, (209) 385-4702, or the department's tipline at (209) 385-4725. The public can send information via anonymous text messages to police department by dialing "TIP411" (847411) and including the word "ComVIP" as the “keyword” in the text message.

— Sun-Star staff