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Arrests in armed gang robbery of rosary

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POSTED September 27, 2009 2:49 a.m.
It was an armed robbery like no other with the “karma-involved” theft of a Catholic rosary.

“The courts may deal with these kids, but they will probably be dealt with by a higher authority,” quipped Manteca Police spokesman Rex Osborn.

Arrested for armed robbery and for participation in a street gang were Oscar Zepeda, 20, of Manteca, and Brandon Burton, 18, of Manteca.  They were charged with three felonies, street terrorism, conspiracy to commit a crime and robbery. Bail was set at $160,000 for each of them after they were taken to San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.

A call went in to police about 5:30 p.m. Friday from the Sierra High School neighborhood that a young victim was being accosted with a baseball bat by several teens  who sped away in a car.  

Officers Armondo Garcia and Brian Hannick were given a description of the vehicle by witnesses and they were able to find the car and the two suspects within minutes near the intersection of Wawona and Union roads.

Sgt. Chris Mraz said the officers made a high risk felony stop and ordered the four men out of the car at gun point.  Police said they recovered the bat and the stolen rosary.  The other two were identified for future reference and released, officers said.
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