Oakdale Police investigators believe a late Tuesday night, Sept. 22, shooting by a Stockton Police officer on Highway 99 in Ripon is possibly tied to the robbery of Valley First Credit Union the previous day.
Around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Stockton Police Officer Brian Breckenridge was off-duty on his assigned police motorcycle travelling on Highway 99 in Ripon when a white Saturn station wagon matching the description from a Stockton bank robbery from that day passed him at a high rate of speed. Officer Breckenridge began to pursue the vehicle into Stanislaus County and the vehicle crashed south of Hammett Road on Highway 99, causing the vehicle to roll.
When Officer Breckenridge pulled up to the vehicle, the driver, later identified as Jessie Bryant, 29, of Turlock, got out of the car and pointed a gun at the officer. Officer Breckenridge fired his handgun hitting Bryant at least one time. Bryant was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The passenger, a 27 year old man from Turlock, was also transported to a local hospital for injuries sustained from the traffic collision.
As part of a countywide protocol for officer involved shootings; detectives with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, Investigators with the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office and the California Highway Patrol worked throughout the night processing the crime scene and interviewing witnesses. The roadway was opened seven hours later.
Investigators from Stockton PD were also on scene and during the course of the investigation detectives recovered a replica firearm at the crime scene.
Bryant was arrested for evading a peace officer, brandishing a weapon, and a parole violation. The passenger was not arrested.
Oakdale Police Lieutenant Keri Redd said Oakdale police had forwarded photos from the Valley First Credit Union to the FBI on Tuesday and at the time the Oakdale robbery was possibly linked to a bank robbery in Ceres.
When the Oakdale robbery occurred on Monday, investigators were able to obtain surveillance photos from the area, including one which captured a white hatchback leaving the scene from a nearby doctors’ office. Witnesses at the time stated the car did not belong to employees and was not familiar to anyone.
After the Leader’s Facebook post of the article, an unnamed reader who worked in the area stated their surveillance footage showed the vehicle was a late 90s Saturn with front-end damage. The information was relayed to police.
Stockton Police Information Officer Joe Silva said the BBVA Compass Bank on West March Lane in Stockton was robbed around 5 p.m. Tuesday when the suspect handed a teller a note stating he had a bomb in his back pack. The teller handed the suspect an undetermined amount of cash, and the suspect left the bank and got into a white Ford or Saturn hatchback then fled north on I-5.
After the robbery, Stockton Detectives worked with the FBI who believed the same individual committed a Manteca bank robbery earlier in the day and was responsible for several other similar robberies in the area, including Oakdale and Turlock.
Lieutenant Redd said investigators from various police agencies met with the FBI today at the Stockton Police Department and the investigations are continuing.
Officer Silva said Officer Breckenridge is a 19 year veteran of the department assigned to the traffic unit that allows him to take his motorcycle home after his shift. Officer Breckenridge was place on three-day administrative leave which is standard in any police-involved shooting.
A check of Bryant’s Facebook page on the day of his arrest showed two separate posts from Aug 18 of cash, predominately $100 bills, laid out with the comments of “We stay with it thanks to a good job” and “This is what it looks like to have a good job.”
Police declined to comment if they were aware of the post or if it was related to the robberies.