He pried open a store’s liquor cabinet. Then things got a lot worse. – Modesto Bee

What started as a theft from a Modesto grocery store quickly escalated to robbery, battery and attempted kidnapping.

Police are looking for a man who on Oct. 2 entered the FoodMaxx on West Briggsmore Avenue, pried open a locked liquor cabinet and took a bottle.

When confronted by employees the man became aggressive. Brandishing a gun, he ordered two employees out of the store and robbed one of his or her belongings, said Modesto Police Department spokeswoman Jessica Smart. “He battered both employees, but they were able to flee,” she said.

The Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers summary of the incident says the man attempted to kidnap another female employee. “He wanted to take one of the employees with him and attempted to grab her and physically remove her, but she resisted,” Smart said.

There is no indication, she said, that any employees required medical treatment.

The man eventually fled in an older-model Dodge Neon painted with black primer.

Anyone who recognizes the man from surveillance images or has any information on the incident is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 209-521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters may also text information to Crime Stoppers at 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.

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