Two dozen people were arrested over the weekend in a so-called mobbing theft in which a large group of people overwhelmed a business in the course of carrying out a holdup, Stockton police said.
Officer Pete Smith said officers have noticed the trend recently as packs of alleged thieves target convenience stores.
The clerk on duty often fears for his or her safety and can often do nothing but watch a crime take place, Smith said.
Stockton police and California Highway Patrol officers teamed up Friday night to crack down on such robberies.
Smith said police responded when a group of suspects -- including 14 adults and 10 juveniles -- arrived at an AM/PM convenience store at 4855 S. Highway 99, which is a frontage road.
The group pulled up in several cars and entered the store. Officers quickly converged on the business and rounded up the suspects, Smith said.
Eight cars, including one reported stolen in Tracy, were towed. One handgun was confiscated, Smith added.
KCRA.com contributed to this report.