Good detective work by patrol officers Mario Ysit and Mindy Morris uncovered a bag
containing black powder, blasting caps and other precursor items used to make destructive
devices in a pickup truck parked near a propane tank in the Schemper’s ACE Hardware
The officers were called to the store shortly before 1 p.m. when workers were concerned
about the welfare of an older teen who had been acting strange in their store. A manager
said he was concerned when the youth walked out the door and drove away – soon returning
and sitting in his truck near the propane tank with his head down. A 911 call was made
because they felt he was ill with medics being dispatched but then cancelled.
Officers soon recognized questionable explosive items in his vehicle that included a bottle
rocket. The parking lot was cordoned off with yellow tape along with police cars and the
store was closed to customers to ensure their safety. The teen was taken into custody and
transported to the police department across the street for questioning.
The Manteca Bomb Squad was called to investigate as customers were turned away at the
entrance driveways to the store. Bomb squad officers spent some 30 minutes going through
the vehicle collecting the items they felt were explosive in nature.
The Bulletin will include a more complete story when information is available that will not
impede the police investigation and will include a photo of the Stanislaus County suspect and
any list of charges against him. The hardware store reportedly lost a great deal of business
on a usually busy Saturday afternoon.