MODESTO (CBS SF) — Milpitas police are investigating a possible link between two smash and grab robberies–one attempted at the Great Mall and one at the Vintage Faire Mall–that caused chaos and triggered fears of shots fired at both malls.
Modesto police said Wednesday that they have arrested two suspects in connection with the robbery at a jewelry store at the Modesto Mall on Sunday.
Milpitas police told KPIX 5 that while they don’t think the Modesto suspects are the same people from the Great Mall incident that happened later the same evening, they are investigating a link between the two. Police said it’s unusual that the same jewelry store, Valliani Jewelers, was robbed in two different locations on the same day in the exact same manner.
Milpitas investigators are still working on the Great Mall robbery from Sunday night. The three suspects from that incident escaped in a black four-door sedan and are still at large.
Modesto police said the suspects in the Modesto robbery used a sledgehammer to break a glass in a showcase at Valliani Jewelers, causing a loud noise, which sparked initial reports of shots fired at the mall. But when officers arrived on scene, they determined there were no shots fired “within minutes,” police said.
After social media and surveillance images of the suspects surfaced, Modesto police were able to arrest 23-year-old Phelan Parker and 23-year-old Kyrin McKenzie, both of Stockton. Both are being charged with robbery and conspiracy.
Modesto police are still searching for the third suspect, 28-year-old Wilfredo Robles, Jr.
Modesto police did say two additional subjects are being sought in connection to the Modesto robbery; a fourth person entered the mall and fled the area with the three, and a fifth person is suspected to be the getaway driver.