Police believe a convict arrested in connection with Stockton robberies is also responsible for at least three armed robberies of Lodi gas stations.
Leonel Salcedo, 40, of Stockton, is currently being held on $1.5 million bail in the San Joaquin County Jail.
He is charged with seven counts of armed robbery, as well as allegations of having a prior serious felony conviction and being armed with a firearm, which carries a 10-year prison term on its own.
Salcedo was arrested on suspicion of robbery Dec. 2, and a multi-agency robbery task force suspected that he was responsible for other area crimes, said Lodi Police Sgt. Doug Chinn.
Investigators believe they have evidence linking Salcedo to three of seven Lodi gas station robberies. Those crimes were:
— An Oct. 22 robbery at USA Gas, at the corner of Lower Sacramento Road and Lodi Avenue. The suspect, who wore black clothing, arrived at 2 a.m., asked the clerk about any sale items, then pulled out a revolver and demanded cash, according to Detective Tim Fritz.
— A Nov. 4 robbery at the 76 station at 633 E. Victor Road. Around 1 a.m. the suspect, who wore a mask, brandished a gun and demanded money. His mask slipped partially off his face during the robbery.
— One of two Thanksgiving robberies. At 10:15 p.m. a masked man entered the Chevron at Ham Lane and Lockeford Street, brandished a gun and cussed at the clerk while demanding money. She was holding a carafe of coffee in each hand and told him to leave the store, and he did, while saying that he would return, according to police.
Between Oct. 22 and Nov. 26, seven gas stations were robbed at gunpoint, and each time the witnesses gave similar descriptions.
Though most stores had cameras, police said they only have enough evidence to connect Salcedo with three of the robberies.
Lodi police had allocated more resources toward combating the rash of store robberies and residential burglaries. Home burglaries have dropped considerably after a number of arrests, and detectives noted that no convenience stores have been robbed in two weeks.
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