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Modesto Police Department
Wednesday November 10th, 2010 :: 04:04 p.m. PST

Police Warn of Increase in Street Robberies

Police Warn of Increase in Street Robberies


Release Date: November 10, 2010

Modesto Police Department

Media Relations

Office of the Chief of Police

600 10th Street, Modesto, Ca. 95354

Author: Sergeant Rick P. Armendariz

Modesto, CA- Within the last few months, police investigators have seen an increase in robberies within the city of Modesto. In order to stem the spike in these crimes, police have reorganized their resources and are making community members aware of the arising issue. In addition, investigators are providing residents preventative tips to avoid becoming a victim.

Since July 2010, Modesto Police began to see a rising number of reported robberies. Although the overall Part I Crime in Modesto is down 5%, Modesto has seen a 21.9% increase in the category of Robbery, when comparing the number of reported robberies last year-to-date to this year-to-date.

A robbery is a very serious crime and is defined in the California Penal Code as “the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another…against their will, accomplished by means of force or fear.” It is punishable by imprisonment of 2, 4, or 5 years. If the crime is committed with a weapon or with accomplices, additional charges may apply.

Many of the recent robberies consisted of “street robberies”, which involve victims who were robbed of their personal property while they were walking alone at night or at a park after hours.

The Modesto Police Department has taken a proactive stance on how we will investigate these crimes by reallocating resources and placing more of a concentrated focus, department-wide, on this latest trend. “We want to be able to stem the problem and reduce the number of robberies by placing a full court press on the offenders”, said Lieutenant Bill Ryan, who is the Investigative Services Assistant Commander. “Investigators will be working hand in hand with patrol officers, records clerks, and our Crime Analysis Unit in order to identify these criminals and impact this arising issue.”

The recent robberies have occurred throughout the city of Modesto, and most have been random, with suspects ranging in race and age, although many suspects were described as being in their early to late teens and early to mid twenties.

Investigators have found a few common themes with many of these robberies, and, as a result, have provided some basic tips that will hopefully keep you safe and secure.

1. Always be aware of your surroundings.

Whether you’re in a shopping center parking lot, walking down the street, or just relaxing in a local park. Be aware of your surroundings. Avoid dim lit areas or secluded areas and be mindful of the people around you. .

2. Trust your instincts

If you feel uncomfortable with someone who approaches you or begins to talk to you, trust your instincts, and simply walk away.

3. Travel with a friend, if possible.

If you have to go out late at night to the store or for an evening walk, ask a family member or friend to join you. It is a great way to spend time with someone you enjoy and at the same time provide a deterrent to a “would be” thief.

4. Stay away from parks after hours.

All city parks close at 10 p.m. Although parks may appear to be a “cool” place to hangout after hours by teens and young adults, secluded and dim lit areas are also the perfect scene for a crime.

5. Be wary of strangers approaching you and asking for the time or if they can borrow your cellular phone.

Several of the recent robbery victims have said that prior to being robbed, the suspect approached them and asked for the time or asked to borrow a cellular phone. This is often a technique thieves use to determine if a victim has something of value.

6. Women, avoid leaving your purse in the shopping cart.

Although it may be convenient to place your purse in a shopping cart as you’re pushing a cart in the shopping center parking lot, it is not recommended. Thieves commit crimes of opportunity. Thieves will often seek opportunities, such as an unsecured purse on or in a shopping cart, and take it! Keep your purse on your shoulder or in your hands at all times.

By reducing or eliminating the opportunity for thieves to strike, you are increasing your safety and protecting your valuable property.

For information about this news release, contact police spokesman Sergeant Rick Armendariz at (209) 652-1820.

Modesto Police Department
600 10th St
Modesto, CA 95354

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 209-572-9500

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