RIPON — A pickup truck that had been hijacked at gunpoint in Manteca Sunday afternoon was spotted by Ripon officers Tuesday on Jack Tone Road at Santos Avenue where the occupants were followed and taken out of the vehicle at gunpoint.
Patrolman Erick Boger was driving on Jack Tone Road near two Ripon truck stops when he noticed the license plate on a 1998 black Chevy Cheyenne pickup truck, dropping in behind the vehicle with its three occupants.
His partner Alex Burgos was at Main Street and Highway 99 when he heard Boger’s radio traffic and saw on his computer screen that the truck had been taken in a carjacking two days before in Manteca.
Officer Boger pulled the truck over on the entrance driveway to the Chevron station ordering the occupants out at gunpoint as Burgos arrived to back him up.
In addition to the 18-year-old, officers said there was a 15-year-old girl – his girlfriend – and a 12-year-old boy, her brother – both of Manteca. They were all taken to the Ripon Police Department awaiting the arrival of Manteca detectives who interviewed them on the auto theft.
Police said they found a black handgun along with gang paraphernalia – a red bandana and a CD covered with written gang verbiage. The gun was found to be an air soft model that looked authentic, police said. The orange tip on the barrel had been painted over with black paint, officers said.
The victims of the hijacking told Manteca officers they had been sitting in their truck shortly after 3 p.m. on Sunday in the 1900 block of Crestwood Avenue when a teen dressed in black approached the passenger side of the truck and asked for a cigarette. When they told him they didn’t have any, they said he put a black handgun in their faces and ordered them out of the car.
Police quoted the victims as saying the suspect drove north on Crestwood where he was seen picking up three other youths all dressed in black. They said he drove north to Lathrop Road, east to Highway 99 and then were seen going southbound on Highway 99.
Zamora was charged with auto theft and possession of a stolen vehicle and transported to San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp. Manteca detectives said they are continuing their investigation into the carjacking and did not file any carjacking charges against the Tracy man as of Tuesday evening.
The 15-year-old girl and the 12-year-old boy were released to their parents.
Ripon Sgt. Steve Merchant lauded his officers’ good work in apprehending the suspects.