Turlock Police Investigate Series of Violent Robberies at Popular Park

TURLOCK -- When you come to Donnelly Park in Turlock, you expect to see a few things: ducks wading through a pond and kids riding skateboards down a ramp.

What you don't expect to see is people being robbed and badly beaten.

At least, not until last week, when three people were attacked there on three different.

"We believe they are connected based on the location, time. et cetra," said Turlock Police Sgt. Russ Holeman.

What concerns police most -- those robberies have become increasingly more violent. On Monday night, the suspects robbed a man and beat him with some sort of weapon, badly enough that he had life-threatening injuries.

As of Tuesday night, that man was still alive at a hospital.

"It's a busy park and there's a lot of families there," Holeman said.

What concerns neighbors the most is that two of the cases happened close to the skate park, where one family FOX40 spoke with had just come from.

"We were just at the skate park, but we came here 'cause I got bored," said Bradley Richardson.

The family spoke with FOX40 from a bench at the tot lot -- a lighted playground to the side of a much darker area.

"Theres like a bunch of little kids out there alone without parents, so it's kinda shocking," said Nick Tyler, who was shocked to hear about the robberies.

The Turlock Police Department says there's a pattern with these robberies and it might be problematic for investigators.

The victims were all robbed by multiple people, the reports range anywhere from two to six suspects.

And since it's so dark at the park in December, they've been targeting people between 5:30 and 6 p.m.

"It's a matter of seconds that these cases are taking place," Holeman said.

They're putting more officers on patrol at the park and reminding people to pay attention.

"Be aware of your surroundings, trust your instincts," Holeman said.

Police in Turlock are asking anyone who may have witnesses the robberies or who may have seen a group of people acting suspiciously at Donnelly Park to call police at (209) 664-7319.