Patterson businesses robbed
by Elias Funez
Jun 11, 2014 | 4232 views | 6 6 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Both Papa Murphy’s and Dollar Tree were robbed over the past week, causing local business owners and their employees to look for ways to further protect themselves and act more cautiously around the work environment.

A hooded Caucasian male wearing sunglasses pointed a single barrel shotgun at the head of Dollar Tree manager Precious Warren and demanded money from the register at around 8:50 p.m. the night of Wednesday, June 4.

“He was in and out in less than a minute,” she said, “We gave him everything in the register.”

Warren said the intruder approached her from part way down an aisle and asked for the money to be put into his backpack. Warren also noted that this has been the second robbery that the Dollar Tree has had since it opened two years ago.

Staff are now considering hiring security guards to be posted near the store’s location.

Last Wednesday’s gunpoint robbery occurred only minutes before the store’s normal closing time, when customers are less likely to be around to witness the attack.

Dollar Tree employees hope that having security guards around at all times would provide the added protection to ensure their safety during their work shifts.

“I sure hope so, I really do, ‘cause it’s dangerous,” Warren said about the possibility of having security guards.

Only three days would pass before a second business from within the same shopping district would be robbed.

On the night of Saturday, June 7, a black male described as being large and around 6’2”, accosted Papa Murphy’s employee McKayla Becerra from behind the counter while her back was turned.

Becerra, who just graduated high school and is currently a police explorer with the local Sheriff’s department, stayed calm and followed the intruder’s orders.

“He put his hand on my neck, I can still feel how strong he was,” Becerra told the Irrigator.

Becerra and another female employee were then told to go to the back room where the intruder demanded for a manager to open the safe. After he was told that no manager was present and that they did not know how to open the safe, the man asked Becerra to open the register, which she did.

The masked robber then ordered the two female employees to lie face down on the ground and told them to stay put while he made his escape out the front door and around the side of the building towards Sperry Avenue.

It was while Becerra was face down behind the counter that she tripped the store’s silent alarm. The police were there within minutes.

Becerra also said an officer, whom she’s become acquainted with through the Sheriff’s explorer program, called her on her mobile phone shortly after the alarm was triggered to be sure she was safe.

“I saw him and I felt relieved,” Becerra said of Sheriff W. Crane’s response.

The Papa Murphy’s robber was described as wearing a camouflaged mask, black gloves, blue jacket, and work boots.

This is also the second time Patterson’s Papa Murphy’s location was robbed, the last being only five months ago in January.

The employees are no longer taking any more chances. One employee now keeps a tazer and a large can of pepper spray with a long distance shooting range handy.

Repeated requests to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s department regarding information about the robberies were not returned as of press time.

Elias Funez can be reached at 209-892-6187 or
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June 21, 2014
Crime is up and down in Patterson. It is SUMMER and thats when crime is up in Patterson. Then Winter hits and it's back to happy happy joy joy!
June 14, 2014
Unfortunately, Patterson is experiencing some growing pains. Patterson always had some issues, even years ago, but nothing like this. In the last few years the gun related crimes seem to have multiplied and so have the number of burglaries. It seems Patterson is starting to acquire some of the big city problems even though the town is small, relatively speaking. The ones who make the money from the grow alsways push the economics of it, but there are trade-offs and Patterson is starting to see it. Especially when growth was not managed properly.
June 15, 2014
well said!
June 13, 2014
Wasp spray works better, shoots farther, is more directional and is easier to get.
June 12, 2014
This is sad news for the Patterson community. Gang violence, businesses getting robbed, and lack of employment, all lead to the city declining. Anyone with common sense would not move to Patterson. And anyone that lives there, and has common sense, would move out! It's sad, but a reality that Patterson is a dump.
June 21, 2014
Patterson a dump? I don't think so. So basically we should what? Move to Oakland where two babies have been shot and killed this year, and by the way Oakland has 41 murders already and San Jose has 20 murders and it's only JUNE! Or should we move to Tracy where they have 83 sex offenders or maybe to Arm Pit City of Modesto where they have 519 sex offenders and average 35 murders a year.

Or how about we move to a HUMAN TRAFFICKING City like Sacramento or Stockton so the pimps can kidnap our kids. Do you have a TV in your home centralvalleysadness? Do you watch the news? Do you see Patterson on the news daily? I don't think so! And BTW, their are jobs all over Patterson and in near by cities. The problem is people without COMMON SENSE need to move out so our city doesn't have these problems. Uneducated, welfare ghetto people need to move out and back to the dump they came from. In all honesty, it's only the uneducated drug addict gang families with their section 8 vouchers complaining about NO JOBS for High School DROP OUTS and PROBATION OR PAROLE PEOPLE. Hello, who wants to hire a Government cheese eating criminal that talks like an idiot? I'm tired of the crime and the WIC people taking so dam long in the lines at Save Mart and you coupon freaks too. Take your EBT card, Coupons, WIC and your section 8 vouchers back to Antioch or Oakland or to Tracy and leave my beautiful City of Apricots!

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