Saturday, 15 June 2024

Twin Pine robbery suspect arrested

LAKE COUNTY – Following a 13-month multi-agency investigation authorities have arrested a man charged with an alleged armed robbery of Middletown's Twin Pine Casino last year.

On Tuesday John Alan Gillies, 43, of Clearlake was arrested for the Nov. 6, 2006 robbery, according to statements issued this week by the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control.

The sheriff's office Enforcement and Investigations Divisions conducted the initial investigation into the robbery, which later was turned over to the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control, according to the sheriff's statement.

Department of Justice Special Agenty Marty Horan reported that the Bureau of Gambling Control obtained an arrest warrant for Gillies on charges of carjacking/kidnapping, kidnapping and robbery on Tuesday.

“We coordinated with Mr. Gillies to turn himself in to the sheriff's department,” Horan told Lake County News Friday.

A Bureau of Gambling Control agent contacted Gillies via phone, according to Horan, to set up the surrender.

Gillies turned himself in to the sheriff's office on Martin Street at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Horan reported.

Horan reported that the robbery suspect, wearing gloves and a mask, had carjacked an individual at gunpoint in Middletown on Nov. 6, 2006, forcing the victim to drive the vehicle toward Twin Pine Casino. The suspect then ordered the driver out of the vehicle, leaving the person on the side of the road as he drove to the casino.

According to the investigation, the suspect parked the stolen vehicle in the casino parking lot and rushed inside, running up to the cashier cage and demanding money while holding the cashier clerk at gunpoint, Horan reported.

After obtaining the cash, the suspect ran back out to the parking lot, jumped in the stolen vehicle and sped away, according to Horan's report.

While witness interviews provided little information that could tie a specific suspect to the crime, Horan reported that evidence was collected at the scene that eventually would link Gillies to the crime.

Last April, while the investigation was still under way, a Bureau of Gambling Control received information that Gillies was allegedly planning to rob Colusa Casino Resort.

The Bureau of Gambling Control investigated the report and worked with the Colusa County Sheriff's Office to coordinate a traffic stop on Gillies on April 16 as he was allegedly was on his way to rob the Colusa casino, Horan reported.

While searching his vehicle following the stop deputies found evidence including gloves, a mask and a firearm, according to Horan. Deputies subsequently arrested Gillies for attempted robbery, possession of stolen property and felon in possession of a firearm and booked him into the Colusa County Jail.

Following Gillies' April arrest, the Bureau of Gambling Control continued investigating Gillies as a suspect in connection with the Twin Pine robbery last year, according to Horan.

The investigation involved numerous interviews, review of numerous casino video surveillance tapes, and the service of numerous search warrants, Horan reported.

One of the search warrants obtained by the bureau included a saliva sample from Gillies that Horan said investigators submitted to the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services for DNA comparison with evidence recovered at the Twin Pine Casino.

In September, according to Horan, investigators received word that the saliva samples matched. That confirmation, in addition to “a mounting list of existing evidence,” led to Gillies' arrest on Tuesday. He was reportedly arraigned on Thursday.

Horan reported that the investigation relied on extensive coordination and cooperation from the Lake County Sheriff's Office, Colusa County Sheriff's Office, Twin Pine Casino (Middletown Tribal Gaming Regulatory Agency), Colusa Casino (Colusa Indian Gaming Commission) and the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services.

Gillies remains in custody on $750,000 bail.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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