STOCKTON (CBS13) —Teens are being targeted on the streets of Stockton over a trendy possession. Just last week, three kids were robbed within 24-hours of each other. All of them riding the same kind of bike.
The suspects are approaching teens with the same kind of car, gun and at the same time of day. Thirteen-year-old Jeremy Tucker says he was riding his bike just blocks away from his east Stockton house Thursday when a white truck with four young men inside tried to cut him off.
“A truck pulled up on the side of me with a gun flashing a laser in my eye telling me to get off my bike,” Tucker explained. “I was kind of scared. I was just thinking ‘I’m not going to give you my bike.’”
Tucker escaped and called his mom, Bryde Enstrom, worried as the truck continued to follow him.
“It was pure panic and anxiety. You don’t really know what to think, you are fearing the worse,” said Enstrom.
The next day, Jose Ochoa wasn’t as lucky when he encountered he was approached while riding his bike on Main Street.
“He hoped out his truck and he hit me with the gun,” explained Ochoa.
Ochoa was hit so hard that he needed eight stitches in his ear. He was riding his bike with his 11-year-old brother when two men in a truck started following them demanding their bikes. At first, they approached his little brother, but he escaped. Jose says they followed them to the Auto Zone Parking lot where they cornered him and stole his bike.
“The necessity, they think they need to pull a gun out on an 11-year-old or a 13-year-old, they are children. And it is sad that they have to go through that,” said Jose’s mom, Anel Ramirez.
All three boys targeted were riding “SE Racing” bikes, a popular BMX brand that comes at a high price point.
“I don’t believe it was to ride it, I think it’s to sell it,” Ramirez explained.
“They are harder to get your hands on because they are in such high demand right now,” said Enstrom.
The bikes range anywhere from around $200 to $1,200. Both mothers believe their children were targeted by the same people.
“The truck, the guys, the weapons, everything seems to match,” said Ramirez.
It’s a trend the parents hope won’t continue, as their kids are left dealing with the aftermath.
“The trauma, it’s not the bikes. The bikes are materialistic, they are replaceable, but it was the children go through at the end of the day,” explained Ramirez.
Ramirez says her youngest son is not sleeping well through the night and has had nightmares because of the attack. She says Jose’s bike was returned after someone recognized it from social media and stole it back from a man on the street.
In both cases, the men involved are described as Hispanic males in their late teens to early 20s driving a white single cab truck. The San Joaquin County Sherriff’s Office is investigating the theft and assault.
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