Businesses busted for selling cigarettes to minors; police arrest panhandler and call him a fraud

This week’s crime activity was mostly marked by petty theft and minor drug infractions, but a few incidents did stand out:

Businesses sell cigarettes to minors

Two Gilroy businesses were caught selling cigarettes to 15-year-olds as a part of a Gilroy Police Department and Santa Clara County Sheriff undercover sting the evening of Sept. 28. 

Of the 26 stores tested, Shell Gas Station on Pacheco Pass Highway and Las Animas Bakery on Monterey Street were cited with misdemeanor for selling tobacco to a minor, according to a press release from the GPD.

A panhandling ‘fraud’ arrested

At 4:34 p.m. on Oct. 8, an 88-year-old Gilroy man who can often be spotted begging near Panera Bread on Camino Arroyo was taken to jail for panhandling, resisting arrest and providing false information to officers. The man, Elias Gallegos, allegedly told police he makes $300 per day begging and plans to continue. Police claim the man is a fraud because he tells those driving by that he is homeless when he in fact has a residence in town. 

Man flees, provides false identity

Eric Harrison, 28 of Gilroy, allegedly fled after shoplifting two flashlights and a razor from Wal-Mart. He was caught across the street at Subway at 7:57 p.m. on Oct. 8. Police say he gave a false name to them, and that his real name wasn’t discovered until Harrison was taken to GPD to be booked. When police learned his real name, they found two warrants on his record for identity theft and transported him to Santa Clara County Jail. 

Stolen car recovered

A white Honda Civic that was reported stolen on Oct. 8 from Adams Court was recovered in Morgan Hill the next day, abandoned and stripped of its parts. The car was returned to its owner and Morgan Hill Police are following up with an investigation. 

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