Redding Police announced the arrest of a man who was tied to several robberies and at least one burglary in recent months.
On Tuesday night, an employee of Dutch Brothers Coffee, a small mostly drive-through coffee shop on Market Street in north west Redding near the Sundial Bridge, was preparing to close for the day at a few minutes before 11:00 pm. The 17-year-old employee noticed a man loitering nearby, and soon heard a knock at the back door. He peeked out of the drive-through window to try and see who was there, and saw the man approach carrying a knife. The man demanded to be let inside, but the employee, fearing an armed robbery, locked himself inside the small office. He could hear the window on the rear door breaking, and the man asking where he was. The robber then took cash from the register, and left.
Officers responding to the area encountered Matthew Joseph Dial, a 29-year-old Redding resident who lived at a nearby apartment on the same block. Dial had been detained for questioning the day before, Monday June 23, on suspicion of an armed robbery at a Safeway Gas station earlier this year. On February 18, just after 10 pm, the clerk at the gas station at 1070 East Cypress Ave. had reported that a man with a knife had come in and demanded money. He was described as white, about 5’10” to 6’0″ tall, slender and unshaven, wearing a black ski jacket and gray pants with sneakers. He was also wearing what was described as a “hand made ski mask” – likely a wool cap with eyes and mouth cut out. The clerk handed over cash from the till, and the suspect escaped. A “Secret Witness” tip led Redding Police investigators to question Dial on Monday.
The day after he was questioned, investigators served a search warrant at Dial’s apartment, but he was not home at the time. They did find, however, evidence linking him to the Safeway robbery. In addition to that, they found other evidence that connected Dial to another robbery at a Shell Gas Station. In that incident, on Thursday, March 20 at 5:15 pm, a man fitting a similar description had reportedly entered the Shell Station at 1233 Hilltop Drive. He also threatened the clerk there with a knife and demanded money. This time the reported suspect was wearing a Husqvarna baseball cap and a “Sublime” t-shirt with shorts. No ski mask, however. He had escaped with the cash the clerk had turned over to him.
A warrant was issued for Dial once he was connected to the two armed robberies, and when found Tuesday night, he was arrested and taken in for questioning. Being so close, and matching the description of the Dutch Brothers robber, investigators questioned him about that incident. He confessed to that robbery, and they were also able to gain a confession to another open incident.
Very early that same Tuesday morning, an alarm had gone off at Lim’s Cafe, also on the same block on North Market. Lim’s is an old fashioned looking Chinese and American food restaurant with a cocktail bar. Someone had broken in and stolen several bottles of liquor from the bar, but nothing else. Dial had cash from the Dutch Brothers robbery with him, and bottles from Lim’s were found in his apartment.
Matthew Dial was booked into the Shasta County Jail on three counts of armed robbery and one count of commercial burglary. Based on these activities, he may become a suspect in other incidents under investigation, however, detectives said he is not currently suspected in two robberies at the South Market Street Dutch Brothers. Dial has a long record or arrests, dating back to 2007. Most of them involved possession of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, with an injury DUI as well.