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2 men hold up Auto Zone, escape with cash
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Sgt. Chris Mraz followed by patrolman Mike Espinosa, first on the armed robbery scene, survey the situation from outside the front door at the AutoZone auto parts store in the 100 block of South Main Street. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Two masked robbers held up the AutoZone auto parts store in the 100 block of South Main Street Friday night at gunpoint and made off with an undetermined amount of cash.

Manteca Police said at about 8:15 p.m. two men, described as being black and in their mid-20s, entered the front door of the business and ordered two employees and one customer to the back of the store and told them to lie down on the floor as they took money from the register.

The store surveillance camera caught the pair, with their faces covered, exiting the front door and running in opposite directions across the north side of the building.  Two officers and a sergeant arrived within minutes and advanced on AutoZone with handguns and an automatic weapon.  Just moments before, officers had been on a “man down” call in front of a house in the 200 block of North Fremont Street.

Canine officer Dale Goforth and his partner “Gage” cleared the premises with the other two officers advancing behind the canine – finding no one in their search.  While officers were inside,  a white late model pickup truck with three occupants matching the description of the robbers,  was seen pulling out of the shadows behind and to the south side of the AutoZone building heading south on Main Street toward the Highway 120 Bypass.  

While the employees and the one customer were shaken up by the experience, no one was injured, police said.