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Four armed robberies in 74 minutes
robbert smith
Steve Smith

Within 74 minutes on Friday, Manteca Police had responded to four separate armed robbery calls.

And when they got notified by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office that three more had occurred outside of the city’s jurisdiction, they had a pretty good idea that that the crimes were related.

After a joint investigation, law enforcement concluded that the person responsible for the armed robberies – in which a white male suspect wearing a black hooded sweatshirt brandished a gun before demanding items from victims – was 34-year-old Manteca resident Steven Smith that officers believed may have fled to Tracy.

Smith had last been spotted driven a stolen Toyota Prius C, and when the AB109 Task Force searched the area where he was rumored to be, they spotted the stolen vehicle and ultimately found him – taking him into custody on four count of armed robbery and one count of auto theft.

After an investigation by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, three additional charges of armed robbery have also been filed in the case.

The multijurisdictional effort to identify, track down, and arrest Smith included the Manteca Police Department’s patrol division, the Manteca Police Department’s street crimes unit, Lathrop Police Services, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, and Delta RATT – the county’s auto theft task force.

Smith is scheduled to appear in the Manteca branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court on Monday, Nov. 23, at 1:30 p.m. for arraignment. He is currently being held at the San Joaquin County Jail on $1.77 million bail.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.