Suspected armed robber arrested, accomplice still at large

Michael Oliveira, 18

With the help of surveillance footage and other evidence, police
nabbed a robbery suspect emblazoned with possible gang tattoos and
the word

Gilroy

in several spots, including his eyebrow and chest.
With the help of surveillance footage and other evidence, police nabbed a robbery suspect emblazoned with possible gang tattoos and the word “Gilroy” in several spots, including his eyebrow and chest.

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. Using video surveillance captured by a security camera at Bozzo’s Union 76 gas station and other unspecified evidence, police identified Oliveira as one of the two men involved in the Monday night robbery of Bozzo’s, 401 First St., and the Saturday night robbery of Budget Liquors, 8380 Church St. Police spotted the suspect walking near Welburn and Kern avenues Thursday evening and arrested him.

Although Oliveira’s accomplice is still at large, capturing one suspect “narrows our field,” Detective Stan Devlin said.

“Both robberies were done by the same people,” Devlin said. The officer covering both cases concluded that “without a doubt, it was the same two guys,” he said.

Police have not located any guns used in the crimes.

Video footage from Bozzo’s showed a man with a goatee wearing a black beanie and a black sweatshirt – the man police believe is Oliveira – walking into the gas station and setting what appeared to be a candy bar on the counter to purchase, just after 7 p.m. Monday. After 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. Oliveira allegedly 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.

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.

In his mug shot, Oliveira appears covered in tattoos, including the word “Gilroy” over his right eyebrow – sandwiched by “x” and “4” – and across his chest, his zip code on his stomach, one dot under his right eye and four dots under his left. Although Oliveira’s tattoos suggest connections with the Norteño gang and he was wearing a red shirt when booked – a color worn by Norteños – “there is no indication that he is currently active in a gang,” Devlin said.

Oliveira also had “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.

Police believe Oliveira was also involved in Saturday’s holdup of Budget Liquors. About 7:10 p.m., two men entered the liquor store 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.

Police believe Oliveira was the suspect described as the unmasked, adult Hispanic male with a goatee who wore 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.

Just before Oliveira’s arrest, Devlin said he hoped the surveillance tape would help identify the robbers. 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.

Oliveira has “some juvenile history” though Devlin declined to give the specifics. He will be arraigned 12 p.m. Tuesday at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill.

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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