Sheriff: Fresno man held in Winton Park armed robbery

The Fresno BeeJune 17, 2014 

A man who stole wallets and car keys from fishers at Winton Park and then pepper sprayed them was arrested Sunday, the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said.

The three victims got to the park near Trimmer Springs and Piedra roads in Fresno County early Sunday morning when 28-year-old Ramon Morfin Franco approached them asking for a jump start to his truck, the sheriff's office said.

When the men began to help him, Franco pulled out a handgun and demanded their wallets, cellphones and car keys. He took their belongings and then sprayed them with pepper spray before driving off in his truck, the sheriff's office said.

The men flagged down a deputy about 10:30 a.m. and described what happened. A description of Franco's car was immediately broadcast, and a deputy spotted it about two hours later near Peach and Butler avenues in southeast Fresno. Franco was pulled over at Peach and Belgravia avenues and was arrested. The witnesses identified him as the armed robber.

The victims' stolen property and a 9 mm handgun were found in Franco's truck, the sheriff's office said.

Franco was booked into the Fresno County Jail on suspicion of armed robbery, possession of stolen property and carrying a concealed weapon.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or bvaccari@fresnobee.com.

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