2 suspects arrested in armed robbery case
Courtesy of the Madera Police Department Madera Police Lt. Dan Foss arrests armed robbery suspect Ernesto Gonzalez, 44, in Tracy on Wednesday.
A Madera man, Ernesto Gonzalez, 44, is behind bars after a series of brazen armed robberies in which police allege he repeatedly approached customers with a gun at the Bank Of America branch on east Yosemite Avenue. The robberies took place in February, once in broad daylight, as the victims withdrew cash from the ATM machines, according to the Madera Police Department. A 17-year-old male who police say was an accomplice was also arrested and jailed in connection to the robberies. His name is not being released.
Sgt. Mark Trukki said Gonzalez was arrested in Tracy by Madera and Tracy police after Gonzalez allegedly robbed a convenience store there.
“He has been charged with 3 counts of armed robbery, criminal conspiracy, and miscellaneous out of area warrants. The first robbery took place on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. and the most recent was on February 17 at 12:30 p.m. The suspect would walk up to patrons as they were using or attempting to use the ATM and demand the money they withdrew, and at times force them to withdraw more,” Trukki said.
In one case two patrons were robbed at the same time, Trukki said.
“As a result of our investigation, Ernesto Gonzalez 44 years of age and his 17-year-old male accomplice have been identified as those responsible for the robberies,” Trukki said. “The two were also responsible for a robbery in the City of Tracy, where they robbed a Valero gas station. Yesterday, detectives and members of our Special Investigations Unit responded to Tracy where we worked with members of the Tracy Police Department to locate and arrest Gonzalez. This contact brought our teams back to Madera, where the 17-year-old male was identified, located and also arrested. The two have been booked into our local jail and juvenile hall on charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.”
Trukki said no injuries were reported but officers were glad to get Gonzalez off the streets and confident that his arrest prevented more local armed robberies. Gonzalez did not have a recent criminal history, according to local records, with only a misdemeanor conviction for possession of a firearm more than 10 years ago.