The Turlock Police Department has identified the individual believed to be known as the Band-Aid Bandit. Turlock Police Investigators have been working closely with other area law enforcement agency investigators in an attempt to collaborate resources and put an end to the Band-Aid Bandit’s crime spree.
Following up on a lead from the October 25th robbery of a Fosters Freeze in the Modesto area, Turlock Police Investigators were able to determine a possible license plate of the suspect’s vehicle. The investigation revealed that the license plate was 6CCV749. That vehicle is a white Chevrolet Cavalier convertible with a tan top. The vehicle description was the same or very similar of that provided by many of the victims and witnesses in other robberies. By accessing DMV records, Turlock Investigators were able to determine that the vehicle is registered to Andrew Gonzalez in the 2300 block of Edwards Avenue in the Merced area.
Using DMV photos, Turlock Police were able to create a photo line up. The suspect was positively identified through the use of the photo line up, surveillance video, witness description, and other means.
Turlock Police Investigators secured an arrest warrant for ANDREW GONZALEZ based on probable cause to believe that this was the individual responsible for the crimes. A Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge signed the arrest warrant authorizing the arrest of Mr. Gonzalez for multiple felony counts of robbery.
On Wednesday, October 29, 2008, at approximately 11:00pm, an allied agency noticed the suspect vehicle parked in the driveway of the suspect residence in the 2300 block of Edwards Avenue in Merced. Investigators conducted a surveillance of the residence until Turlock Police Investigators were able to secure a search warrant for the residence.
On Thursday, October 30, 2008, at approximately 7:00am, law enforcement executed the search warrant. The residence was situated in a county island of the Merced City jurisdiction and fell within the Merced County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. Merced County SWAT team executed the search warrant. Several neighbors were evacuated from their residences as a precaution. Mr. Gonzalez was not located inside the residence. The evacuated neighbors were allowed to reoccupy their homes at just before 2:00pm.
While investigators were processing the residence for evidence, law enforcement received information that Mr. Gonzalez had been hiding in one of the neighbor’s houses. When the neighbor returned home, the neighbor saw Mr. Gonzalez climbing out of his window and fleeing the area on foot.
Law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions gave chase. Officers from the Turlock and Ceres Police Departments apprehended Mr. Gonzalez in the area of 22nd Street and Ash in Merced. Mr. Gonzales did not claim any injuries as a result of the arrest.
Mr. Gonzalez is currently in the custody of Turlock Police Investigators. He will be booked at the Stanislaus County Jail for multiple felony counts of armed robbery pursuant to the arrest warrant.
If there are any outstanding witnesses or victims of any of the robberies that have not been contacted by law enforcement, you are encouraged to contact Detective Michael Parmley at (209) 668-5550 extension 6793.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.
This information is being released by Turlock Police Sergeant Steven Williams.