A man who eluded police as they prepared for a standoff Monday in Salinas turned himself in to Morgan Hill police today hours after a woman reported he robbed her, a Salinas police spokesman said. Family members of Delbert Robles, 27, accompanied him to the Morgan Hill Police Department where he surrendered at about 1:30 p.m., Salinas police spokesman Miguel Cabrera said. Robles, whose relatives living in Morgan Hill apparently convinced him to give up, was being transported to Salinas to be arrested in connection with the police standoff and today’s robbery, Cabrera said. Police planned to arrest Robles on suspicion of brandishing a gun, trespassing and violating probation in the standoff and on the armed robbery reported early this morning.
The Monday standoff started at about 10:15 a.m. at a home at 45 Sherwood Drive in Salinas where Robles used to reside with his father, who recently moved out, Cabrera said. Robles allegedly entered the home, confronted some workers who were performing renovations, told them he was the tenant and brandished a handgun at them, Cabrera said. The workers left the home and called police, who arrived and began setting up a perimeter to secure the neighborhood after witnesses reported seeing Robles shut the front door and draw the drapes closed, Cabrera said. During the standoff that lasted nearly nine hours, police remained outside, brought in SWAT officers, used negotiators on loudspeakers, then launched a flash and bang explosive and finally tear gas into the home.
When SWAT officers forced their way in at 8 p.m., Robles was not there, leaving police to conclude he escaped through a back or side door just as officers were setting up the perimeter, Cabrera said. Then today a woman told police that while waiting for a ride to work at 4:25 a.m. in the 900 block of Chamise Drive in Salinas, a man approached whom she said she recognized as Robles from news media coverage of Monday’s standoff, Cabrera said. The man demanded money, displayed a knife in the waistband of his pants and appeared to threaten to grab the knife, Cabrera said. The victim handed over her money and the suspect then forcefully took her cellphone away, but when the woman’s ride arrived, he threw the phone down and fled on foot, Cabrera said. Officers combed the area but were unable to locate the suspect. Robles was previously involved in a 90-minute standoff with Salinas police back in January, Cabrera said. “The good news is he’s in custody,” Cabrera said. “He’s got a history.” The handgun Robles allegedly used prior to Monday’s standoff has not been recovered, he said.