Police deal with string of robberies

STOCKTON — Stockton Police officers were busy responding to several robberies Friday afternoon and evening.

The first incident occurred at 2:20 p.m. where a man was approached by three assailants as he walked near the area of Apple Blossom Way and Fallen Leaf Drive, police said. The robbers pushed the victim to the ground and demanded his property, and he complied. The robbers fled on foot.

At 6:30 p.m., a man was using a cellphone on his own rear patio in the 8100 block of Palisades Drive when a teenager jumped into the area, pushed him and stole the phone. The robber fled in an unknown direction.

At 7:50 p.m., a woman was walking through a parking lot in the 1500 block of Waterloo Road when a man and a woman got out of a white sedan and approached her, police said.

The assailants struck the victim with unknown objects, then stole her purse and cellphone. They were last seen fleeing westbound on Harding Way in the sedan, police said. The victim refused medical attention.

At 8:15 p.m., a man entered a business in the 3800 block of East Hammer Lane and left with merchandise without paying. He pulled a knife on an employee who tried to stop him, then fled in a black SUV.

Man suspected of stealing donation bank

RIPON — A man caught on video stealing from an American Legion donation bank Friday morning was arrested in Manteca later in the day.

Ripon Police officers responded to the report of a theft at the Quik Stop, 1580 W. Main St., at 7:50 a.m. Friday.

A Quik Stop employee who came in to work said they noticed the bank, which is used to collect donations for the California American Legion Veterans and Rehabilitation, was missing from the countertop, police said.

Video surveillance determined the bank had been stolen the previous night.

The employee posted the video footage on social media, and by 12:31 p.m., a Ripon resident reported seeing the suspect vehicle on Yosemite Avenue in Manteca.

Ripon officers arrived at the location and contacted a male matching the description of the suspect in the video.

Officers questioned the man, identified as 35-year-old Phillip Robbins of Manteca, who ultimately confessed to the theft, police said. The coin bank was found in Robbins’ vehicle during a search.

Robbins was taken to the Ripon Police Department for processing and booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on suspicion of burglary.

The Helmet for Heroes program, sponsored by the California American Legion Veterans and Rehabilitation and supported by the Ripon Clinton McCausland Post 190, ensures that veterans, survivors and eligible dependants living in California receive appropriate health and mental care.

The program has been collecting donations at several Ripon businesses for the past few weeks, and this was the only reported theft of the banks.