HOLLISTER—Watsonville Police arrested Eloy Vasquez, 18, of Watsonville on July 20 for a strong-armed robbery that took place in Hollister on July 17. Vasquez was turned over to the custody of the Hollister Police Department and booked into the San Benito County Jail for robbery, conspiracy and witness intimidation.
The incident occurred between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. near the intersection of South Street and Prospect Avenue. The two victims were walking on South Street when a gold Honda Accord pulled up alongside them. One of the three occupants asked, “What is your gang affiliation” and then identified himself as a gang member.
The suspect got out of the vehicle and confronted the victims, threatening to shoot them although no gun was seen. He had the victims empty their pockets.
A citizen who knew the victims approached the incident and immediately confronted the three suspects. A verbal altercation ensued between them and the suspects fled the scene with the victim’s property.
“The citizen interceding in this case was a good thing because there was no gun in this case and it prevented further harm to the victims,” Hollister Police Department’s interim Chief David Westrick said. “In most cases, however, we want citizens to preserve themselves and be good witnesses and gather up as much information as they can, like direction of travel, color of vehicle and a license plate number.”
A license plate number check that was provided by the victims to the responding officers resulted in the discovery that Vasquez was one of the suspects. Vasquez was positively identified as a suspect and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Watsonville Police located and arrested Vasquez and turned him over to Hollister Police. Vasquez’s bail has been set at $50,000. The Hollister Police Department would like to thank those citizens that came forward and provided important information that led to the identification and arrest of Vasquez. “It is very gratifying to see the community get involved whether it be through active participation or social media,” Westrick said, adding, “They are coming together because I think they are tired of crime in their communities.”
Anyone with information regarding this active investigation is requested to contact Bo Leland at 1-831-636-4330. People wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip line at (800) 78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.
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