HOLLISTER—Police Departments from three local agencies; the Hollister Sheriff’s Department, the Salinas Police Department and the Gilroy Police Department helped capture Robert James Ellis, 40, of Hollister after he went on a tri-county crime spree.
On Tuesday, October 16, around 1 pm the San Benito County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a resident that lived on Southside Road. Deputies arrived and were met be a visibly shaken homeowner.
The homeowner stated that a white male adult came to the house and knocked on the front door. The homeowner opened the door and the suspect forced his way into the home and held the owner at gunpoint. The suspect demanded the owner to give him the keys to their vehicle. The homeowner did and the suspect drove off in their SUV.
“Robert Ellis is a resident of Hollister,” San Benito County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Tony Lomonica said.“He does not have a history of doing things like this in the past.”
About two hours later, the Salinas Police responded to the Valero Gas Station on North Main Street in Salinas on a report of an armed robbery. The clerk told police that a man came into the station, grabbed a “Monster Drink” from the refrigerator the went to the counter.
The suspect then pointed a flare gun at the clerk and asked for “American Spirit” yellow cigarettes and for the clerk to activate the gas pumps. He pumped gas into his vehicle, a Champagne colored SUV, and left the area.
Approximately two hours later, around 5 p.m. the Gilroy Police Department responded to the Chevron Gas Station on 7100 Block of Camino Arroyo on a report of an armed robbery. A witness reported that a man displayed a weapon that looked like a toy and demanded cigarettes and gas.
Ellis got the cigarettes and left the area leaving the vehicle and identifying information behind. The Gilroy Police ran a check of the vehicle and found that it was the same vehicle reported stolen out of Hollister.
About 25 minutes later, Gilroy police responded to the 6700 block of Camino Arroyo on a report of an attempted carjacking. In that incident, Ellis brandished his flare gun at the victim. Ellis was unsuccessful in his carjacking attempt but he did manage to fire his flare gun at the victim, who was not harmed.
The next day, October 17, around 10 a.m. the Gilroy Police Department responded to an in-progress burglary on the 8900 block of Calle Del Rey. Ellis broke into the house and brandished his flare gun at the homeowner and demanded the keys to the victim’s vehicle. Once again, Ellis was unsuccessful in gaining a vehicle and left the residence. Responding police units spotted Ellis about one-tenth of a mile away at the corner of Muir Drive and Ousley Drive in Gilroy. Pacific West Christian School and Rod Kelly Elementary School were both placed on lockdown while police took Ellis into custody without further incident.
Ellis was charged with two counts of attempted carjacking, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery, first-degree burglary and making terrorist threats. His bail has been set at $360,000.00 dollars.
Gilroy Patch: Man Arrested in Gilroy for Attempted Murder, Carjacking, Robbery