Stephen Ellison

Robber Locks Gilroy Store Workers in Bathroom, Apologizes and Says ‘Merry Christmas'

A man posing as a UPS driver robbed a Gilroy outlet store Monday, but not without apologizing and wishing his victims a Merry Christmas, Gilroy police said.

The takeover robbery occurred at the back of the Lane Bryant outlet store, where the suspect called the store phone, saying their UPS delivery just arrived, police said.

When workers opened the door, they found a man not in a UPS uniform.

"He simulates the fact he has a gun by putting his hand in his waistband and demands all the money out of the register," Gilroy police Sgt. Jason Smith said.

Detectives said once he was done getting the cash, the suspect ordered the employees into the bathroom.

"He pushed a filing cabinet against the door, told them not to come out for 10 minutes, said he was sorry and said to have a Merry Christmas," Smith said.

Shoppers at the popular outlets weren't so cheery hearing about the crime.

"It's appalling, and I'm very sad that it happened," Hollister resident Alberta Astras said. "I feel for the employees that were in the store."

Martin Vargas works at another outlet shop.

"We normally don't hear that here in the outlets," he said. "There's usually some theft but nothing like that, holding people hostage or anything."

It wasn't the only holiday heist early Monday. Police are looking for seven suspects who smashed the front door of the Sunglasses Hut. The robbers grabbed products off the shelves and got away in less than a minute.

Detectives are checking surveillance cameras in the area and will increase patrols at the outlets during this busy shopping season.

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