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Two dozen Manteca homes burglarized

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POSTED December 17, 2008 1:44 a.m.
Some two dozen burglaries have plagued Manteca and surrounding residential areas since the first of December.
There has also been run on safes in homes in and outside the city limits.  Two were taken on Airport Way, north of Lathrop Road.  One had been bolted to the floor.  Another was reportedly taken in a central location in the city.
Home and garage burglaries within the city have been happening during daytime hours — between 10 and 5.
Manteca Police spokesman Rex Osborn is asking residents to be aware of any suspicious persons in their neighborhoods and not to hesitate to call officers.  
Often times burglars will park on the next street over from the residence they plan to rob.  They then jump over the back fence — kick in the back door of a home — and return to their cars.  Only neighbors on the next street might see them disappear into that back yard.
There was only one arrest on Buttercup Street near Pestana Avenue when neighbors called officers when they saw two men carrying a flat screen TV and other articles out of a house.
Manteca patrolman Elliott Eichel got the call, was nearby and able to pull in behind the suspects as they rounded a corner, jumped from the car and went over back fences.  One suspect was arrested for burglary and the other somehow made his escape through a perimeter set up by other officers.
The robbers have reportedly been reported all over the city with no particular location as a center point.  The last robbery was on Tuesday on Tahoe Street where intruders entered through a rear window and kicking doors.  They did not enter through the front of the house, officers said.
Officers detained a trio of men from Arizona and Southern California on Monday who neighbors feared were casing their homes — knocking on doors on Sparrowhawk, asking for people who didn’t live in the neighborhood.
The car was towed because his license had been suspended, police said.  One man was riding in the back of a Chevrolet Suburban — huddled behind the seats —  that officers stopped on Atherton Drive.
Other recent police activity included an armed robbery on Sunday where a man simulated a weapon at Cigarette City in the Raley’s Shopping Center on Lathrop Road.  Police said he didn’t get away with any merchandise and it was unclear if he took any cash.
Also on Sunday officers discovered 1.7 pounds of marijuana, 55.1 grams of methamphetamine and 25 ecstasy pills at a home in the 700 block of Center Street.  
Charges are pending for the suspect who is reportedly on probation, police said.
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