Robbery suspects arrested after pursuit ends with crash into police vehicle

News

FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Two robbery suspects were arrested Thursday after leading police on a chase, ending when they crashed into an undercover officer’s vehicle.

It started around 11:20 a.m. when a man attempted to rob Andre’s Liquor on Blackstone.

Lt. Carl McKnight with the Fresno Police Department said the suspect, 30-year-old Martin Barajas, entered with a gun and his face covered, but said he ended up running when he saw it was full of customers.

Witnesses said they were suspicious the second the car pulled across a handicapped space, then they saw an armed man and had already called police by the time the suspect took off.

“The call came out as a Hispanic male adult, face covered in tattoos, partially covered up, entered the store with a firearm saw that there were too many people inside the store and fled out the store,” McKnight said.

Employees were also able to describe the getaway vehicle and alleged driver, later identified as 24-year-old Brittney Manzo.

“40 minutes later an officer is in the area of Belmont and Fresno Avenue and he gets flagged down by a business owner who ran out and said he’d just been robbed at gunpoint,” McKnight said.

Police connected the two crimes and chased the suspects north on Highway 41. After exiting they eventually lost control on Princeton and First and then hit an undercover officer’s vehicle.

“He’s getting ready to engage in the pursuit or at least set up in case the guy leg bails. They lost control here. Smacked I think the side of his vehicle,” McKnight said.

Police were able to take Barajas and Manzo into custody. McKnight said officers found a sawed off shotgun along with a cash till inside the suspect’s vehicle. He said Barajas is on probation for a drug offense.

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