Community, police work together to nab Morgan Hill robbers

David Banks, 31, left, and Jaime Butler, 34.

Two Los Angeles men were booked into Santa Clara County Jail
Wednesday afternoon after allegedly stealing champagne and other
alcohol from the Safeway grocery store on East Dunne Avenue.
Two Los Angeles men were booked into Santa Clara County Jail Wednesday afternoon after allegedly stealing champagne and other alcohol from the Safeway grocery store on East Dunne Avenue.

Jaime Butler, 34, and David Banks, 31, were arrested after 4 p.m. when they allegedly stuffed bottles of alcohol into their pants and left the store.

Butler was charged with alleged robbery, possession of stolen property and assault with a deadly weapon. Banks was charged with alleged robbery, possession of stolen property and brandishing a weapon.

Security guards tried to stop them, according to Morgan Hill police Cmdr. David Swing, and Banks initially was cooperative. But Butler fled, throwing bottles of alcohol at a loss prevention officer as he ran. He made it through the parking lot, ran east on Dunne over the highway, then flagged down a passing semi-truck. He got into the truck, and the truck began to move, but the driver apparently realized something was wrong, and he stopped the truck.

Butler was detained, possibly by an off-duty law enforcement officer, and was arrested.

“We had great support from the community,” Swing said. “People were calling in, telling us where they were going, and actually helping to detain them, and that and the fact that officers were there in less than two minutes after the call, played a huge role in apprehending the suspects.”

Banks, who was initially cooperative when confronted by a store security guard, became combative when the guard tried to handcuff him. He fell to the ground, and bottles of alcohol came out of his waistband. He pulled out a screwdriver and threatened the guard. A Gilroy woman who witnessed the incident told police Banks was hitting and choking the guard, and she tried to help him. Banks took off running and was apprehended by an officer on East Dunne Avenue.

Banks originally told police officers his name was Michael Banks, but another identification card was found in the vehicle he and Butler were in originally. Swing said he is also on parole for armed robbery.

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