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Man walks off with $2,200

Picked up cash roll he saw another lose in parking lot

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Man walks off with $2,200

A man police believe may have picked up a roll of cash in the El Polo Loco Restaurant parking lot on East Yosemite Avenue late on the might of May 3 (Friday) is seen ordering at the counter of the ...

Photo courtesy of Manteca Police/


POSTED May 16, 2013 2:04 a.m.

A cash roll  of $2,200 – money intended for a down payment on a mobile home – was dropped in the parking lot of a Manteca fast food restaurant.

Within minutes a man Manteca Police are seeking can be seen on video picking up the cash and then walking into the restaurant where he stood in line behind the man who hadn’t yet realized he had lost his money.

A Manteca man in his mid-40s, who had been living in the Southern California city of Costa Mesa, was in the process of moving back home to be close to his parents on Friday, May 3. He had  the cash in his pocket when he decided to stop at a fast food restaurant to pick up dinner for his folks.

He said he had just been at Walmart on South Main Street where he had come upon a woman on the corner asking for money.  Reaching in his pocket he took $10 from his bank roll and handed it to her out the car window.

Driving toward his parents’ home, he thought he had better take them dinner.  As he got out of his car at the El Pollo Loco eatery,  he had forgotten he had put the money between his legs when he had given away the $10 while he was behind the wheel instead of putting it back into his pocket .

As he was getting out of his car at El Pollo Loco on East Yosemite Avenue he saw another vehicle pull in to a stall two places away but thought nothing of it at the time.  He began to give the clerk at the counter his order when he realized he didn’t have his roll of cash anywhere in his pockets.

The victim feverishly went back out to the car where he searched on and under the seats.  He said he even removed his golf clubs to see if it had somehow gotten under the bag – no such luck. 

The manager of the fast food restaurant offered to let him see their security video that showed him getting out of his car and the second car drive up and park.  The video also showed the passenger in that car jump out the right front door and make a dash to the side of his truck where he knelt down and picked something up and put it in his pocket as another car with friends pulled in next to them.  He was seen walking around his car and throwing something into the interior through the driver’s open door.

The victim of the loss said the suspect actually stood in line behind him at the counter when he became visibly frustrated and ran out the door to his car.  The entire group of four sat and watched when he came back into the dining room to view the security tape, he later realized as he reviewed the video.

He is offering a reward of $300 for information to the identity of the man he saw take the money on the video and the early ‘90s Honda with a sun roof they were driving.  The car has a driver’s door that has been replaced probably because of an accident.  The door is white with a horizontal white stripe across its midsection.

Manteca Police Sgt. Jodie Estarziau said the offense is seen as the misappropriation of lost funds and is punishable by law.  It is a law that demands the finder make it known he has found the money to business operators in the area and to turn it over to the police for a six month period of time, hoping the owners will come forward to claim it as theirs.

A call to the South County Crime Stoppers will allow a tipster to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward for up to $1,000 for any information that leads to an arrest and a conviction by calling 823-4636.

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