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Police helping families

Officers dig into own pockets to assist victims

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POSTED September 7, 2009 1:31 a.m.

Manteca Police officers and employees are digging into their own pockets to help the two families displaced after tear gas was used to end a 12-hour stand-off with bank robbers who busted in and holed up in the duplex they were living in.

They are meeting the two families at 4 p.m. today outside of the duplex in the 100 block of South Lincoln Avenue that was the site of Thursday’s showdown with two suspects involved in the Bank of America robbery just blocks away. The Manteca Police Officers Association and the Manteca Police Employees Association are providing the families with gift cards. Calvary Baptist Church will also have representatives there making donations. Others in the community who are interested in helping are being asked to bring donations by at that time as well.

Manteca Police spokesman Rex Osborn said the department’s rank and file has a lot of empathy for the two families who became victims of the crime when the suspects broke into their home and then refused repeated attempts by the police to get them to surrender.

Police finally had to resort to using 17 canisters of tear gas to get the armed suspects to surrender. Due to the residue the tear gas leaves on most items – especially those that are porous – the family has to destroy their clothing, food, toys , toiletries, linens, and much of their furniture for health reasons. They were also displaced as well since it will take weeks to repair the complex.

California law holds criminals responsible for any damages that occur to property in the course of their apprehension. The courts – except in rare cases – do not hold law enforcement liable due to officers’ needs to bring about arrests that are necessary for public safety.

The police and church aren’t the only ones stepping forward to help the two families that include a couple with a week-old child and a single mom with two young children.

Big Papa Joe’s BBQ at 123 E. Alameda Street is donating 50 percent of all of their proceeds from any sales Wednesday to the families.

Jennifer Dancy of Ladybug’s Quilts has started a drive to help the two families. Those interested in helping may drop donations off to the Ladybug’s Quilts store at 1236 N Main St. Suite A or contact her via her cell phone at 345-4756. More details are also available at

They will be open today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to accept donations as well as regular hours from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for the rest of the work week.

Couple has
week-old son

The first family is a couple with a one-week old son.

They need somewhere to live and have the ability to pay a small rent.

Items they need include all furniture such as a bed, couch, appliances, tables, cradle or crib.

They also need linen – sheets and towels – plus clothing. He wears 33/33 pants, but prefers baggy shorts, size large, large T-shirts, crew socks, and size 11 shoes.

The mother needs medium T-shirts, large pants, large sports bras, and size 9-9 ½ shoes.

The baby is a newborn – he needs everything – clothing, diapers, wipes, binkies, blankets, burp cloths, tethers, and small toys.

They will have to replace anything porous in the house, so they’ll need to replace all food. They’d appreciate gift certificates to Save Mart.

Toiletries need include nursing pads, razors and shave cream, tweezers, deodorant, soap, shampoo, Q-tips, cotton balls, makeup, nail trimmers, tissue, hair dryer, and such.

They also had a cat that was in the home when it was gassed. They are seeking a groomer or vet that can bathe the cat and treat its eyes.  

Other family is
single mom with 2 sons

The other family consists of a single mom with two sons – 5 and 2 years old.

 They also need somewhere to live and have the ability to pay a small rent.

The family’s furniture and linen needs are the same as well.

The mom needs larger clothing. The kids wear 2T-3T and 5-6.  

The boys will lose just about all of their toys. Anything would be appreciated such as Hot Wheels, bikes, Legos, video games, and toy trucks.
They also will toiletries and food as well.

The two suspects are now in San Joaquin County Jail. They are Joseph Richard Keller, 26, and Elvin Jerome Brooks, 25.

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