Police were looking for a robber who threatened four people with a knife and a handgun Saturday morning, stealing one woman's purse and hitting two people in the face when they told him they didn't have any money.
One victim suffered a concussion, the most serious injury in the four incidents, which police believe are the work of the same robber.
Police did not release the victims' names to ensure their safety.
The first three incidents occurred shortly after 7 a.m. within several blocks of each other in a neighborhood just north of Yosemite Boulevard and west of Claus Road in east Modesto.
Gundlach said the first one occurred when the robber approached a 54-year-old woman who was out for a morning walk along Creekwood Avenue. She said the robber was carrying a handgun and demanded money.
He said the woman did not have any with her. The robber then patted her down and hit her in the face with his hand before leaving in a small green car.
The second incident occurred when the robber approached a 57-year-old woman walking near Lincoln Avenue and Penny Lane.
She told police the robber was carrying a knife and demanded money from her. Gundlach said the robber left in a green car after the woman told the robber she did not have any money.
He said the third incident occurred when the robber approached an 86-year-old man walking along Whitethorn Drive. The man told police the robber was carrying a handgun and demanded money from him.
Police said the robber took property from the 86-year-old man before leaving in a green car.
The final incident occurred about 8:30 a.m. in a shopping center parking lot in the 2200 block of Plaza Parkway, just east of Sisk Road in northwest Modesto.
Gundlach said a 63-year-old woman was walking from her car to one of the businesses when the robber drove up in a small green car. The robber got out of the car carrying a handgun and approached the woman.
The robber hit the woman in the face, possibly with his gun, and took her purse before he left in the car, police said. The woman suffered a concussion and was taken by ambulance to a Modesto hospital, where she was treated and later released.
The victims told police the robber was a black man in his 20s with his hair in braids or cornrows that were bunched together in the back.
The robber was wearing a white shirt and black pants. Police said the robber did not have passengers in his car.
Police ask anyone with information about these crimes to call the Modesto Police Department at 572-9500 or Crime Stoppers at 521-4636. Tipsters can e-mail tips through the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.modestopolice.com/CrimeStoppers, or text tips to CRIMES (274637) by typing Tip704 plus a message. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and are eligible for a cash reward.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2394.