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Kmart robber found guilty
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Daniel Cardona, 48, of Modesto, may qualify for his third strike conviction stemming from his robbery of the Ceres Kmart store on March 15, 2008.

Cardona was convicted by a jury of kidnapping for robbery, robbery, and attempted robbery. The Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office also charged Cardona with three prior convictions for robbery that fall under California's "Three Strikes" law. A court trial will be held on April 24 to determine the validity of those convictions and to set a sentencing date.

Cardona entered the Kmart on Hatch Road and approached a 37-year-old female clerk who was standing at a cash register. He grabbed her by the neck and held something at her back. He told her to open the register or he would kill her. She complied, allowing Cardona to grab an undisclosed amount of cash. He then dragged the clerk to the next register and demanded that she open it. The employee told Cardona that she couldn't open it, but Cardona continued to hold the clerk as a hostage as he made his way to the front entrance. At that point the clerk struggled to break free from Cardona's grip as he pushed her away at the same time. Cardona sped off in a blue four-door Lincoln.

As police officers scoured the area for the suspect, 911 dispatchers received a tip from Cardona's sister-in-law reporting that he came back to her house with a large amount of cash, announcing that he had just robbed somebody. Officer Tonya Smith was the first to arrive in the 1400 block of Bluejay Way and saw Cardona trying to exit a garage in a car containing another person. Officer Smith blocked in Cardona's vehicle with her her patrol car, drew her weapon and demanded that both he show his hands. Cardona reportedly refused to show his hands and yelled obscenities at Smith as she awaited back-up. He was taken out of the car at gunpoint and arrested.

Officers found Cardona armed with a knife.