Police make arrest in pharmacy robberies

Hollister Police Department made an arrest this weekend in connection with a series of armed pharmacy robberies.

Police arrested Rodolfo Duarte, 36, on March 10 in connection to a string of robberies that occurred over the last six months.  He was booked into the San Benito County jail on four counts of robbery and four counts of burglary. His bail is set at $220,000.

The press release from the Hollister Police Department states the following:

On March 10, 2017, Hollister Police personnel served two search warrants in Hollister that were related to a series of armed robberies of pharmacies that had been occurring over the last six months in town. Rodolfo Duarte (Hollister, 36 years old) was arrested for those robberies and booked at the county jail as a result of those search warrants.

The first robbery occurred August 29, 2016 at the Rite-Aid Pharmacy (1701 Airline Hwy.). Then on November 17 and again on December 27 at the ANSR Pharmacy (581 McCray St.). The final robbery occurred February 6, 2017 at Lucky’s Pharmacy (251 McCray St).

Hollister Police investigators have been conducting extensive follow-up after each one of these incidents. Working with surveillance footage, employees of the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the motorcycle industry. HPD personnel and area law enforcement had been searching for a specific and identifiable motorcycle for some time.

On March 9, one of the investigators in the case was on their way home for the day and spotted the suspected motorcycle in town at a local repair shop. A search warrant was written and granted the next morning. “We have been working this case for a long time. I have been bugging our Detectives quite on these cases. This was the break in the case we needed” said Hollister Police Chief David Westrick.

The search warrant was served by HPD patrol officers, School Resource Officers, and investigators on March 10. This search warrant revealed further evidence. That information led investigators to a house in the 16 block of Valley View Road. Another search warrant was served at that location later that evening by Hollister Police officers, with the assistance of San Benito Sheriff’s deputies, San Benito County Probation, and members of the UNET Task Force.

Items located and at the residence tied the suspect, Duarte to the crimes. Duarte was located, arrested and interviewed, and then booked into the San Benito County jail on four counts of Robbery and four counts of Burglary. His bail is set at $220,000.

Anyone with information regarding these investigations are requested to contact Detective Bo Leland at The Hollister Police Department at 831-638-4115. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

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