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Gang friction heats up

Police stepping up patrol presence

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POSTED March 28, 2010 1:58 a.m.
Manteca Police do not know why skirmishes are increasing between the Lathrop Hispanic Pride and Manteca’s gangs.

Two high profile incidents this past week in Manteca - plus a shooting at Jackson Rancheria in the foothills earlier this month that involved rival gangs from Manteca and Lathrop - though have prompted police to step up patrols.

That means shifting resources were they can from investigation to bolster their street presence.

“Gangs are very territorial,” noted Police Chief Dave Bricker. “They (gangs) don’t see Manteca and Lathrop as two separate cities. It’s just one big city with railroad tracks running down the middle of it.”

Manteca has a number of gangs with the biggest being the West Side Locos and the Northgate Northsiders, according to Bricker. The gangs tend to affiliate either with the Nortenos or Surenos. The gangs have their roots in Northern California and Southern California respectively. Although the original gangs were all Hispanic, the ones in Manteca tend to be a mixture.

The Lathrop-Manteca gang tiff isn’t something new. There have been problems in the past with confrontations at Mayors Park in the triangle formed by the railroad tracks, Louise Avenue and Union Road as well as around East Union High prior to Lathrop High opening.

Bricker noted both the Manteca Police and Lathrop Police Services are working closely to try and stay on top of the gang violence.

The two incidents this past week included a drive-by shooting shortly after midnight in the 200 block of Acacia Avenue that left five with injuries and a fracas at a North Main Street and Alameda Street convenience store in the early morning honors. That incident involved gunfire that shot out two windows at the Blockbuster video store across the street as a patron was returning rentals. It eventually ended in a suspect crashing his vehicle on the French Camp Road exit after a chase up Highway 99 that reached speeds of 110 mph.
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