Police arrested a 29-year-old Ceres man Wednesday evening, March 29 who allegedly stole items from the Dollar Tree store on Hatch Road and assaulted a clerk who tried to stop him.
At 7:54 p.m., Officer Vince Hooper was dispatched to the store at 1330 E. Hatch Road for a report of a theft involving a suspect who threatened he had a knife and was going to stab employees. Hooper found three shaken female employees, one of whom was struck in the face as the suspect walked out of the store with stolen merchandise. Another clerk stated she got into a physical struggle to stop the man, later identified as Michael Vincent D'Angelo, 29, of Ceres. She sustained a minor scratch on her right arm during the scuffle. The manager witnessed the incident and helped provide a detailed description of the suspect which was broadcast over the police radio.
Police said D'Angelo acted suspiciously inside the store. He was seen grabbing two tote bags and filling them with merchandise before he began to walk towards the front door and the first clerk tried to stop him. D'Angelo pushed her in her face and said he had a knife before walking out. Outside the door another female employee attempted to grab the bags, and during the struggle she was able snag a bag after the handles ripped loose. The suspect allegedly grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the ground. D'Angelo, whose shirt was ripped during the struggle, was seen running off toward Kmart.
Officer Pat Dayton located D'Angelo, still in possession of a tote bag and store merchandise, at Herndon Road and Nadine Avenue. He was positively identified by the employees.
After he was arrested Dangelo admitted stealing the items, stating he was "just trying to make a little money."
Dangelo was booked for felony robbery and for an outstanding Modesto Police warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia with a bail of $1,500.