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MPD makes 4 arrests in armed robberies

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POSTED July 17, 2017 12:48 a.m.

Four suspected armed robbers were arrested less than three hours apart for holding up the Express Food Mart at gunpoint in the 2100 block of West Yosemite and the Subway sandwich shop in the 1200 block of West Yosemite Avenue.

Those arrested included Juan Eduardo Lopez, 19, of Turlock, Omar Nickales-Darius Qarqat, 19, of Modesto and Emmanuel Dali Paz, 19, of Modesto for the Express Food Mart robbery that involved a pursuit into Lathrop.  All three were charged with conspiracy and robbery.

Lopez was also charged with evading officers.  Qarqat received additional charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm, armed with intent to commit a felony and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Paz was also charged with carrying a loaded firearm in public, armed with intent to commit a felony and possession of a firearm with its serial numbers removed as well as for resisting arrest. 

Eric Ayala Amavizca, 18, of Manteca was arrested for the Subway robbery while walking down a residential street.

Police were quick to respond to the Express Food Mart because Officer Jim Jemerigbe was on patrol in the area and observed two men about 11:30 p.m. armed with firearms who had the store clerk at gunpoint.  The officer radioed for backup. Other Manteca PD units quickly responded.

Prior to their arrival,  Officer Jemerigbe advised the dispatcher that the suspects had exited the store and were then running westbound on West Yosemite Avenue.  Both of the men reportedly attempted to get into a black Chevy pickup truck which had pulled over to their location to pick them up.

One suspect was able to get into the truck, he said, which then led the officer and other responding units in a high-speed pursuit.  Emmanuel Dali Paz, 19, was unable to get into the truck in time was taken into custody by MPD officer Mike Plascencia dropping a hand gun as he was about to be arrested. The vehicle pursuit went into the city of Lathrop where another suspect Omar Nickales-Darius Qarqat, 19, exited the truck and fled on foot leaving the driver in the vehicle.   

He was chased down by Officer Jemerigbe in a foot pursuit and was captured and taken into custody without incident.  A firearm he was allegedly carrying was recovered at the scene of the arrest, police said. 

The truck continued to flee the area and was not located as the pursuit was terminated.  The investigation continued and the driver of the truck was soon identified as Juan Eduardo Lopez. He was arrested near his Turlock home. His pickup truck was processed for evidence.

The Subway sandwich shop robbery occurred at knife-point at about 10:45 earlier in the evening. Employees described the suspect as having a blue cover-up shirt over his face.  They said he was last seen on foot fleeing southbound on Union Road on foot.  They described as being about 20 years old, skinny, and wearing a black shirt cut to be a tank top and khaki shorts, carrying a backpack.

Police said that within five minutes Officer Elliott Eichel located a subject matching the description in the 100 block of Vernal Street.  The suspect reportedly had items in his possession that linked him to the robbery at Subway.  MPD detectives were called out and are currently continuing their investigation and looking at linking the suspect to possibly two other robberies that occurred in June.   Eric Ayala Amavizca was arrested and charged with armed robbery. He was charged with second degree robbery and resisting arrest and is being held in county jail in lieu of $253,000 bail and will appear July 18 in the Manteca court. 

Those jailed in the Express Food Mart robbery Qarqat is being held in lieu of $700,000 bail for six felonies and he and compatriots are being held in San Joaquin County Jail and will appear in the San Joaquin County Superior Court at 1:25 p.m. on July 18.

Paz was chared with three felonies and four misdemeanors and his bail was set at $459,000.  Lopez was charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor with bail set at $353,000.


To contact Glenn Kahl, email 

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