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E.C. parolee nabbed after alleged crime spree

February 10, 2001|By DARREN SIMON ,Staff Writer

A 21-year-old El Centro man wanted for a parole violation allegedly went on a crime spree throughout the city late Friday, threatening store clerks and stealing a purse before he was nabbed by police.

James Manjarrez was arrested at midnight, hours after police received the first of four calls, all of which reportedly were about the same man.

El Centro police Sgt. Mike Beltran said officers received the first call in the early evening from a liquor store on Fourth Street.

Clerks there reported a man had come into the store, engaged in a verbal dispute with a clerk and then threw a tape dispenser at that clerk before fleeing.

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Police received a second call later in the evening from the 7-Eleven convenience store at 815 Adams Ave.

The store owner told police a man had a pulled out a sharp object, held it to a female employee and dragged her across the store. Beltran said the store owner confronted the man and the two fought.

"The owner chased him off," Beltran said.

The third call came later in the evening from the Owl Cafe in downtown El Centro where a man snatched a purse from a woman.

Beltran said the final call came at midnight regarding a suspicious person lurking in a residential area in the south end of the city.

Beltran said a resident of that area contacted police. When officers arrived they found Manjarrez and took him into custody.

Police then had those involved in the earlier calls come to the scene. Beltran said each of the victims identified Manjarrez as the suspect in their cases.

Manjarrez was booked on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping with intent to commit a robbery and grand theft.

He was booked into the county jail with bail set at $250,000. However, because of his parole violation, he would not be released even if he did post bail. Information on the parole violation was unavailable.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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