Suspect in Multiple Armed Robberies Arrested
This is a release from the Eureka Police Department. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
The Eureka Police Department has been investigating a string of robberies which have been occurring at various businesses throughout the County of Humboldt. The robberies began late in the evening on November 3rd, 2016, with the most recent occurring on November 18th, 2016. In all of these robberies, the suspect’s general description, method of operation, and weapons used appeared to be similar.
Through the course of an extensive investigation, detectives of the Eureka Police Department developed a suspect and identified a possible involved vehicle. The suspect was identified as Christian James Shepard (26 Years old of Rio Dell). Shepard was discovered to be on probation out of Sacramento County and had an active warrant for his arrest out of Sacramento County for probation violation.
A countywide attempt to locate was issued for Shepard to all Humboldt County Law Enforcement agencies.
On November 19th, 2016, Rio Dell Police Officers observed Shepard and his vehicle. Officers attempted a traffic enforcement stop on him. Shepard fled and a vehicle pursuit ensued. Shepard led Officers onto Monument Road, but due to the high speeds and reckless driving of Shepard, officers discontinued the pursuit.
In the early morning hours of November 20th, 2016, it was determined that Shepard may have run off the road shortly after the pursuit was terminated, the prior evening, and had spent the night in the woods. Deputies of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and officers of the Rio Dell Police Department responded to the area and located Shepard and his vehicle traveling on Monument Road, back towards Rio Dell. Shepard was taken into custody without further incident. Shepard was soon transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released for possible hypothermia.
Detectives of the Eureka Police Department responded and took over the investigation. Shepard’s vehicle was seized and towed from the scene. A later search of the vehicle was conducted, pursuant to a search warrant.
As a result of the search, clothing items, masks, and weapons consistent with those used in the string of robberies were seized as evidence.
Shepard was soon booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on ten (10) counts of robbery, felon in possession of a firearm, negligent discharge of a weapon, terrorist threats, and for the Sacramento County probation warrant. Shepard does not qualify for bail due to the Sacramento County Arrest Warrant being a “no bail” warrant.
There are no photographs being released of Shepard at this time, due to investigative steps that still need to be completed.
The Eureka Police Department would like to thank all Humboldt County allied agencies, especially the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department and the Rio Dell Police Department, for their assistance in this investigation. If not for their help, this dangerous criminal may not have been taken into custody.
This is an open investigation and anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact Senior Detective Ron Harpham at (707) 441-4300.
Here is a list of armed robberies that occurred this month: (Note: Where a public description of a robber exists in the ones posted below, the suspect is mostly described as a tall, thin, white male. Note: There was an arrest in the Cher-Ae Heights robbery so we have removed it from the list.)
- Two Armed Robberies….(Same Guy?) (November 3: tall, thin white man in his twenties with a sawed off shotgun.)
- Armed Robber Struck the Chevron on 4th Street Tonight (November 4: dark brown hair, unshaven with a sawed off shotgun.)
- Another in What Appears to Be a Series of Stickups Occurred Last Night in Fortuna (November 5: tall thin with a sawed off shotgun.)
- Armed Robbery in McKinleyville (November 8: tall, thin white man)
- Shot Fired During Robbery at Winco (November 10: tall thin white man in his twenties)
- Benbow Inn Robbed at Gunpoint (November 14: tall, thin white or light-skinned Hispanic male)
- Another Armed Robbery; This Time in Ferndale (November 14: no description)
- Shot Fired During Robbery of Eureka Store (November 18: tall, thin white male.)