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Gunmen rob Manteca liquor store after trying to steal car in Modesto
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Two armed bandits point their semi-automatic hand guns into the stomachs of two clerks at Manteca Liquors on East Yosemite Avenue shortly before midnight Friday. - photo by Photo Contributed

The Manteca Mart Liquor Store was robbed at gunpoint shortly before midnight Friday by two masked gunmen who were believed to have attempted stealing a car three hours earlier in Modesto.

The security video in the liquor store captured the pair as they walked back and forth in front of the store entrance in the 1300 block of East Yosemite Avenue until they entered with their hands in their pockets and their faces covered and then displaying weapons they aimed at the clerks.  They ordered the cash drawers opened and grabbed cash and asked if there was yet another cash register behind the counter.

“Get over here – get over here,” the first bandit at the counter yelled to his partner. “Get the cash!” 

One warned the clerks on the video not to call police or he would be back for them.  As they ran from the store one grabbed for a cell phone charger on a display stand near the door and couldn’t get it free but apparently left a possible finger print on the box.  They also scooped up Twinkies, dropping one on the sidewalk outside the store.  It was also hoped it would contain a print or two.  

Store owner Gary Singh said the two matched the description of the armed robbers who had struck the Shop and Go store on Union Road near West Yosemite Avenue last week.  

Three downtown

criminal incidents

over the weekend

Additional criminal activity took place over the weekend at the Chocolate Factory in the 300 block of East Yosemite Avenue where a lock was broken but little was taken from the shop.  

Janis Music was also burglarized and two guitars were reportedly stolen from that shop. It was entered from the front with the door lock broken open in the 200 block of West Yosemite Avenue.

The former Kelley Brothers Brewery building in the 100 block of East Yosemite Avenue was also burglarized over the weekend.  Established as the El Rey Theater in 1937 by the Peters family, it served as a downtown icon for many years opening in 1997 until it closed as a major eatery in the center of Manteca some seven years ago.  

Stolen in the brewery break-in was a large chandelier – one of 16 stored in the facility – that will be part of a grand rebirth of the building planned for late June of this year. Also taken were five 1 000-foot spools of electrical wire and tools belonging to contractors working on the site.  It was also discovered that a homeless individual had been bedding down inside the building.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email