Police nab alleged armed robber

Michael Oliveira, 18

Police nabbed the alleged point man in two north Gilroy
robberies from the past week.
Police nabbed the alleged point man in two north Gilroy robberies from the past week.

About 5 p.m. Thursday, police arrested Michael Oliveira, 18, for two counts of robbery and probation violation in connection with two armed robberies Saturday and Monday evenings, police said. Police used unspecified investigative work to identify Oliveira as a suspect, then spotted walking near Welburn and Kern avenues, where he was arrested.

Police had video footage of one of the incidents, but did not specify whether it was instrumental in identifying Oliveira.

In both robberies, at least one other man was involved, police said. Police have neither yet identified that person nor located any guns used in the crimes.

In his mug shot, Oliveira appears covered in tattoos, including “Gilroy” over his right eyebrow and five dots under his eyes.

Oliveira also has “Green Eyes” tattooed on the left side of his neck.

In October, 24-year-old Hollister resident Juan Jose Arellano, known as Green Eyes, was shot and killed in Morgan Hill in a night of escalating gang violence. Mario Flores, 20, a “person of interest in that slaying, was arrested earlier this month while allegedly in possession of a machine gun, marijuana and ammunition.

Monday evening gas station robbery

Two men in their 20s, one wearing a ski mask, robbed a north Gilroy gas station at gunpoint Monday evening, police said.

Just after 7 p.m., a man with a goatee wearing a black beanie and a black sweatshirt walked into Bozzo’s Union 76 gas station, 401 First St., and acted as if he were going to purchase what appeared to be a candy bar, according to surveillance footage and police. As the man set the item on the counter, another man wearing a dark hoodie pulled over his head entered the gas station and pointed a revolver at the clerk. The second man’s face was not captured on tape and police said he was wearing a ski mask.

The men demanded money from the clerk, who handed over an unspecified amount of cash, police said. The man in the beanie reached over the counter to take the handful of cash, grabbed the item he had initially set on the counter, and both men left after ordering the clerk into a back room. The robbery lasted less than a minute.

After several minutes, the clerk came out of the back room and called police, police said.

Neither the clerk nor the robbers were injured in the incident, and no shots were fired, police said. No other customers were inside the business at the time of the robbery. The clerk was shaken up, Detective Stan Devlin said. The business had never been robbed before, Devlin said.

The men were described as Hispanic males between 20 and 30 years old, police said. Devlin said he hopes the surveillance tape will help identify the men. Police were working to circulate the tape and a description of the two men.

“If they’re from our town, I’d be surprised if no one recognizes them,” Devlin said.

Police are investigating the incident as possibly related to Saturday night’s armed robbery of Budget Liquors in north Gilroy, police said. In that incident, two men entered the store, demanded cash, and tried to shoot the clerk in the leg with a revolver, but the gun misfired. They then ran out to the parking lot, where a man in a car was waiting for them. The similarity of the two crimes suggest a link, Devlin said.

Saturday evening liquor store robbery

Three men armed with a handgun took an undisclosed amount of money from a north Gilroy liquor store, police said.

About 7:10 p.m. Saturday, two men entered Budget Liquors, 8380 Church St., and demanded money from the cashier, police said. One of the men used a handgun to threaten the cashier, who turned over an unspecified amount of money “out of fear for his life,” police said. One of the suspects tried to shoot the cashier in the leg but the revolver-type gun malfunctioned, Sgt. Justin Matsuhara said.

The men then ran out of the store to a waiting green SUV and the cashier called police, according to police.

One suspect was described as a Hispanic adult with a goatee, 5 feet, 3 inches, with a thin build, wearing sunglasses, a black beanie and black clothing. The other man had light skin, was about 5 feet, 10 inches, with a thin build, and wore a ski mask. It was unclear from the police report whether a third suspect, who was similar in build to the second suspect and wore similar clothing, entered the store or drove the getaway car.

People with information about either of these crime can contact the Gilroy Police Department Investigations Bureau at 846-0350. People can also leave an anonymous tip at (800) 782-7463.

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