Suspect Entered The Family-owned Restaurant at Gunpoint
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA—The San Benito County Sheriff’s Office arrested 36-year-old Albert Spedalieri of San Juan Bautista on suspicion of armed robbery after an investigation and evidence named him as a suspect in the robbery of the well-known family restaurant Dona Esther’s in San Juan Bautista on Saturday, January 10.
That evening at 6 p.m., San Benito County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of an armed robbery that had taken place at Dona Esther’s Restaurant on Franklin Street in San Juan Bautista. When the deputies arrived they were made aware that the suspect had left the restaurant on foot and was heading towards San Juan School via The Alameda, where his last known residence is, just a block from the scene of the crime.
The victim told deputies that the suspect had walked up to the bar inside the restaurant and exposed what the victim thought was a knife. The suspect told the victim to give him all the money. After the victim gave him and undetermined amount of cash the suspect left on foot.
An investigation ensued and deputies were able to determine that the suspect in this case was Spedalieri, who is from the small town. They worked through the night to determine whereabouts of Spedalieri. They were able to track him to Hollister, where they made the arrest. Spedalieri was booked into the San Benito County Jail on charges of 211PC robbery, and 417PC brandishing a weapon. Investigators were able to recovery money from Spedalieri’s pocket that they believe was stolen from Dona Esther’s Restaurant earlier that evening.
Spedalieri has been arrested several times over the past year, according to law enforcement records. In September he was charged with driving without a license and under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In March he was arrested for being under the influence of a controlled substance, a charge he also faced in October of 2013. Earlier records show an arrest in 2008 for possession of a controlled substance, sales, and conspiracy. At that time he was already on probation. He has also been charged with several counts of probation violations and violating a court order.