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Burglary team of five hits five Manteca stores

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POSTED December 14, 2012 12:29 a.m.

It was about noon Tuesday when a team of four women, one man, two toddlers and a baby paid a visit to Monogram Magic in the 100 block of West Yosemite Avenue and made off with more than $2,000 worth of merchandise.

Store owner Danette Jarred had just left for her Soroptimist Club meeting leaving the shop in the hands of her daughter. The daughter had been distracted by one member of the group with a baby, as well as a delivery at the back door. That’s while others in the group made off with letterman jackets, purses, and jewelry including watches, bracelets and rings.

“They also took eight specially designed T-shirts, three wallets, stuffed their purses with jewelry items, took a black purse marked at $79 and another expensive purse off the rack near the door,” she said, adding that it was hard to know exactly what was missing.

Jarred said that being a single mother, she has a fulltime job in just running the store without having to track down the thieves who stole from her business.  She noted that they had been seen across Yosemite Avenue at Adriana’s Attic before they entered her shop.  One woman was caught on a surveillance video putting on clothes before she walked out the front door of the store.

The Manteca shop owner posted pictures of the suspects on her Facebook site and sent them to her nearly 1,000 of her friends and customers alike.  She said each of those apparently forwarded the information to their friends bringing results within that first day giving her names, ages and phone numbers of several members of the group. 

She said the Manteca Police community service police officer had told her that because so many people had been sent the pictures and the information on the social network that the information had even gotten to her.

Jarred  posted the following with her photographs: “If you know these people, please call Manteca Police.  They ransacked Monogram Magic today at noon.  Peggy was at the store alone and they came in all and stole letterman jackets, rhinestone purses, wallets, shirts, my new rhinestone sweatshirt, jewelry.  Was like a non-stop revolving door.  Anyone know of have seen these low lifes toting children in hand, beware, they will rob you blind.”

Jarred received a telephone call Wednesday from one young woman in the group who threatened to sue her if she didn’t take the pictures down.  She charged that it was clearly defamation of character.  Jarred quipped, “I told them to go ahead and sue me.”

“They riffled through everything in the front of the store,” she said.  “I got more information in 24 hours (on the suspects) than the police got in three days,” she stressed.

Jarred added that the Target store was hit within an hour after her store was robbed as well as thefts at J.C. Penney’s.   Her surveillance cameras inside and outside the Monogram Magic store caught all four of the women in the store with some bagging clothes and jackets.

She said the more she and her staff watched the surveillance videos, the more they learned of everything that had been taken.  While the women were inside, the man remained on the sidewalk as an apparent lookout.  Neighboring businesses recalled seeing the merchandise passed on to two other women on the street in a light blue van or truck – possibly a Nissan Pathfinder.

Jarred said the license plate number she had gotten turned out to have been stolen from a vehicle registered out of Salida.

The longtime Manteca shop owner said she had been warned that the group had been known to become violent when they are confronted.  She was cautioned to use care should they come back into her shop.

When it is obvious and can be proven, that theft from stores was in fact premeditated, it results in burglary charges, not just shoplifting. The man who had reportedly served as a lookout had left his name and phone number with the proprietor of Adriana’s Attic offering to be a volunteer worker, Jarred said.

She is taking further action in a plan to set up a telephone tree among Manteca shop owners where they can all work together and notify the entire town in maybe 20 minutes of any criminal activity taking place in their stores.

Police are keeping their eyes open for four black women – three believed to be in their mid-20s and one about 60 – along with a black male in his early 20s.  The stolen license plate number is 4MAK391, according to Jarred.

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