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Ripon Police looking for brazen couple involved in string of store burglaries

RIPON - Ripon Police are asking for help from the public in identifying two burglary suspects they believe are responsible for a series of events that reach beyond their community and into Tracy, Manteca and Mountain View in the Bay Area.

In the predawn hours Tuesday morning a man and woman team ripped the barred security gate away from the front door of the Ripona Market using their pickup truck – believed to be a mid-2000 vintage, white Chevrolet or GMC.

Once the bars were dragged down the couple smashed the glass front door to gain entrance at about 6 a.m. The market is located at 223 Washington Street.

Several thousand dollars in cash was taken with surveillance videos capturing their movements in and out of the store. They didn’t seem to be in a hurry to leave, officers said.

On Wednesday morning – also in the predawn hours – the front door was smashed out in the Mexican Meat Market in the Town Square Shopping Center and a small amount of cash was taken, police said. The theft was found by a newspaper delivery carrier who called police.

And on the first day of school in Ripon, Aug. 10, a car was burglarized that had been parked along Murphy Road south of the Colony Oak Elementary School campus. Officers said several items were stolen in the “smash and grab” entry of the vehicle that included a credit card.

The suspect couple was soon captured on the video surveillance as they entered the CVS Pharmacy in a Ripon shopping center on West Main Street where they used the credit card to make purchases.

“The male suspect put several items on the checkout counter and the female suspect paid for those items using the stolen credit card,” police witnessed in viewing the store video.

On Aug. 18, in the early morning hours, a Ripon restaurant had the rear glass door smashed out with someone attempting to gain entrance. A female suspect matching videos taken in the other burglaries was seen gaining entry. The alarm sounded shortly after the woman went inside the business and she reportedly fled the area. Nothing was taken, officers said.

On Aug. 25 a white male adult with a similar beard and mustache entered a Sprint store in Tracy and the suspect identified himself as a “business branch owner” to a store employee and asked an employee to open the safe. After making off with a large amount of cash he was seen talking to a woman near a white Chevrolet or Ford pickup truck.

The Ripon community has suffered other commercial burglaries similar to those in Manteca where thieves have cut through the walls of buildings to gain entry as they have turned off the power and dismantled the alarm systems.  Manteca’s burglaries occurred in mid-August involving auto repair shops, tire stores and a service station just last week.

The Mountain View burglaries, where the couple is seen as being suspect, occurred sometime between 9:30 p.m. and 5:45 a.m. on the night of July 25.  A woman matching the description seen in the other videos was later caught on video after smashing out the front glass door to the Mercado Marlen supermarket.

The surveillance equipment was damaged during the incident and videos of the woman were obtained at other businesses when she attempted to redeem the tickets.

Liquor, lottery tickets and cash were taken from the two registers. The following day all of the winning lottery tickets were redeemed at various businesses in the Pleasanton and Livermore areas.

The woman suspect in these cases is described as a white or Hispanic adult between the ages of 25 and 35 years old, weighing about 170 pounds with brown hair which has been pulled back. She has repeatedly been seen wearing a dark colored windbreaker with white stripes – stripes that start at the shoulders and run down the sides of the sleeves and the side of the jacket.

Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to contact the Ripon Police Department’s Investigations Unit at (209) 599-2102 and speak with Sgt. Teri Jensen.