Pete's Liquors

Deven Verma was working at Pete’s Liquors on Saturday night when a youth armed with an Airsoft gun tried to rob the store. Verma was able to lock the back door, and a county sheriff’s deputy waiting outside the front door tackled the fleeing suspect.

Tracy police arrested two teenage suspects after a pair of armed robberies Saturday night, one at the Chevron station at the corner of 11th Street and Chrisman Road and the other at Pete’s Liquors, 202 W. 11th St.

Lt. Terry Miller from the Tracy Police Department confirmed that someone called the police to report a robbery in progress at 9:11 p.m. at Pete’s Liquors. The person reported that a youth with a black Acura had a hood over his face and was armed with a handgun. A minute later, police also received an alert from a holdup alarm at the store.

Miller said that a San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy was nearby. Deputy Andrea Lopez confirmed that deputies were investigating an armed robbery that had just occurred at the Chevron station just east of town and were searching the area for possible suspects when a person flagged down a deputy on the 200 block of West 11th Street and alerted him to the robbery in progress at Pete’s Liquors.

The deputy saw the youth pointing a gun at the store clerk. Tracy police were also quickly on the scene and apprehended a teenage girl believed to be involved.

Deven Verma, who was working at the counter at Pete’s Liquors and also works another job as a security guard, said he cooperated with the would-be robber at first. A security camera video shows the youth going behind the counter to grab money from the cash register and then demanding to know where the larger bills were.

Verma said the youth also demanded a bottle of expensive brandy, which was out of reach on the top shelf behind the counter. Verma said he would go to the back to get it, and then, while the youth was distracted, he locked the back door, leaving only the front door as an exit. Meanwhile, police and deputies had arrived out front.

At that point, Verma ran out the front door. When the youth followed, a sheriff’s deputy was there to tackle him and take him into custody.

Miller said that the gun the police recovered turned out to be an Airsoft BB gun designed to look like Glock firearm. Police also took some tobacco products and cash from the youth. Lopez said that deputies had also found evidence linking both suspects to the Chevron robbery.

Contact Sports Editor Bob Brownne at, or call 209-830-4227.

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