Gilroy Police arrested a 40-year old Hollister man on Wednesday morning after he allegedly held up a Chevron gas station, stole one vehicle, attempted to steal two more vehicles and broke into a home over two days.
Robert James Ells, 40, of Hollister was arrested about 10:30 a.m. after two attempted carjackings were unsuccessful and the victims called police, according to Gilroy Police.
The melee started about 7 p.m. Wednesday, according to Gilroy Police reports, when officers responded to calls of an armed robbery at the Chevron gas station on the 7100 block of Camino Arroyo. A witness said Ells showed a weapon similar to a toy gun and demanded gas and cigarettes.
After receiving the cigarettes, Ells left his vehicle at the station, according to reports. It was identified as a stolen vehicle out of Hollister, allegedly taken during a carjacking by a suspect "armed with a flare gun," according to reports.
About 25 minutes later, a man called police saying he was the victim of an attempted carjacking and the suspect was armed with a flare gun, according to reports. Ells allegedly fired a flare at the man but was unsuccessful in taking his vehicle.
About 9:50 a.m. Thursday, police responded to a call of a man allegedly breaking into a home and demanding keys to the resident's vehicle. The suspect again was unsuccessful in taking the vehicle, according to the reports.
Police soon found the suspect at the corner of Muir and Ousley drives in Gilroy. Two nearby schools were placed on lockdown during the search, according to reports.
The victim identified Ells as the suspect and police found him with a flare gun. Investigators are looking into similar crimes in Hollister and Salinas, according to reports.