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Two arrests in jewelry theft from JC Penney
Penney Jewelry ASK 13781
Matthew Trout, 32, of Manteca is being led to a patrol unit by Officer John Machado after he and Julio Baca, 45, also of Manteca, were arrested in a jewelry theft from the J.C. Penney Store. Trout was stopped by the officer as he drove north on Union Road away from the shopping center. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Two Manteca men were arrested on burglary and conspiracy charges in a jewelry theft from the J.C. Penney store shortly before 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon.

Julio Baca, 45, of Manteca was arrested at the store, and Matthew Trout, 32, was arrested by officer John Machado as he drove northward beyond the Highway 120 Bypass in a black primered 1980s camper GMC pickup truck.

Manteca Police officers allege that Baca forced his way into a jewelry display case by using a knife and took an item valued at over $100 and left the store. Trout – who police say was his partner – subsequently returned to the store to return the item in exchange for a Penney’s gift card alerting store security officers who called police.

Baca was detained at the store and Trout was apprehended in a traffic stop on Union Road just north of the fire station. Officer John Machado said he had just exited the Highway 120 Bypass when he heard dispatch radio that Trout was headed away from the Penney’s store as the patrolman pulled in behind him.

Trout had a dog with him, Machado said, and he was allowed to call a friend to go and pick up the animal from his truck rather than have it impounded.

Officers noted they have been making at least one arrest a day at the south Manteca department store charging suspects with burglary at the facility.