Photo: Justin James Ezell
SHASTA – Early on Sunday morning (3:30 am) the SCSO received a call from 81-year-old Topie Ledford concerning a home invasion that had just occurred. The victim reported that two persons entered her home, tied her with duct tape and battered her with an unknown object.
The duo took cash and credit cards from her purse. and left after 20 minutes. Ledford had minor facial injuries that required a brief hospital visit.
Although she did not know the identities of her attackers, she gave authorities the name of Justin Ezell as a possible suspect. She knew Ezell, who had been on her property previously and was involved in another burglary there a week earlier.
At 10:00 am on Sunday police located Ezell, interviewed him and released him for lack of evidence.
Police soon learned that Ledford’s credit card was used at Clear Creek Market. Surveillance video from the market led to the identification of 37-year-old Nelson James Gleed as the person who used the card to pump gas.
Detectives then intercepted the car that Gleed was driving at the Win River Casino. However, they determined that Gleed was not one of the two persons who had robbed Ledford. He was arrested for unauthorized use of another person’s information.
Video from the casino showed Ezell with Gleed but detectives were unable to find him.
On Monday detectives searched various homeless encampments throughout Redding, contacting over 100 people in an unsuccessful attempt to find Ezell. However, they did identify 27-year-old Ethan Mark Taylor as the second suspect in the the robbery. Taylor was located and arrested for robbery, burglary, elder abuse and parole violation.
A warrant is now out for Ezell, a white male who stands 6’3″ and weighs 210 pounds. He has white hair and blue eyes.
“If anyone has information on Ezell’s whereabouts they are urged to contact the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office at 530-245-6540 or the Major Crimes Unit at 530-245-6135. Tips on Ezell’s whereabouts can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.”