Police / Fire

Multiple burglaries, crashes lead to arrest

Sheriff's deputies and CHP officers responded to multiple incidents allegedly stemming from the same man

A local man was arrested this past weekend after multiple armed robberies and hit-and-run accidents ranging from San Juan Bautista to Aromas. 

On June 24 at approximately 3:07 p.m., San Benito County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to Via Serra Street, in San Juan Bautista, regarding a residential burglary that had just occurred.  Deputies Tellez and Canez proceeded to Via Serra to make contact with the victim. Shortly after the burglary had been dispatched, deputies were re-directed to Neil’s Market (54 Muckelemi St.) regarding an armed robbery in progress. They responded there first due to the in-progress nature of the call.

While on their way the robbery, dispatch advised the suspect had fled the scene with a handgun and an undisclosed amount of cash. He, and his vehicle, were described in detail by witnesses. He was last seen driving west toward Hwy. 101 on Hwy. 156.

Deputies made contact with the victim at Neil’s Market, who stated the male suspect had a white T-shirt covering his face. The victim stated this male subject told him, “Give me all your money or I’ll shoot you.” The victim said the male suspect displayed the front of his waistband, where there was a gun tucked into the waistband. 

Upon making contact with the victims on Via Serra, it was found the suspect description and suspect vehicle matched that of the armed robbery.

It was later determined, following these crimes, there was an armed robbery at The Old Firehouse Market in Aromas (Monterey County). There were also numerous hit-and run accidents in the area with the same suspect and vehicle description as the crimes in San Juan Bautista. 

A short time later, deputies were informed there was yet another accident in the 1200 block of San Juan Rd. in Monterey County. California Highway Patrol units were said to be out at an accident where the suspect was a match to the robberies and burglary.  San Benito County deputies responded to the scene in Monterey County. 

As an end-result to their investigation, deputies were able to match Matthew Tyler Cruddas, 19, to the crimes that had been committed. The handgun, cash and stolen property were all recovered. Cruddas was identified as the suspect in the armed robbery at Neil’s Market and the burglary on Via Serra.  He was cleared at Hazel Hawkins Hospital and was booked into San Benito County Jail on multiple felonies.

It was the cooperation of Santa Cruz Regional 9-1-1, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, the California Highway Patrol and our office that made the closure of these cases possible. Refer to Monterey County Case #17-3223 and CHP Case # DD17271 for more detail on their cases.

BenitoLink Staff