On 03/18/18, Sunday, at 3:26 a.m. Eutropia (Topie) Ledford, 81 years old, called the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office and reported two unknown male suspects entered her residence on Leon Lane, Redding, bound her with duct tape and battered her with an unknown object. During the initial investigation by Sheriff’s Deputies they learned the suspects demanded Ledford to tell them where her money was and ultimately stole several items contained in her purse which included cash and debit/credit cards. Ledford estimated the robbery lasted for approximately 15-20 minutes. Ledford was transported to the hospital and treated for facial injuries that consisted of swelling and bruising. Ledford was later released from the hospital.
Ledford was not sure at the time who was responsible for the robbery but provided a possible suspects name of Justin Ezell. Ezell has frequented the Ledford property recently and was suspected of being involved in another burglary on the property the week before. Deputies issued a B.O.L.O for Ezell for questioning. Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office, Major Crimes Unit were contacted and took over the investigation.
At approximately 10:22 hours, Ezell was located near the Pine Street Safeway in Redding as he is homeless and is known to frequent the South City Park area of Redding. Ezell was interviewed by a Sheriff’s Detective and ultimately released as there was lack of evidence regarding his involvement in the robbery at the time.
As detectives continued to conduct follow up on Sunday, they discovered Ledford’s credit card was used earlier in the morning at various locations throughout Redding. At 5:42 a.m. Ledford’s credit card was used at the Clear Creek Market on Highway 273 in south Redding. Approximately two hours after the reported robbery. A review of Clear Creek Market surveillance showed an unknown male, later identified as Nelson James Gleed, 37 years old, pumping fuel into a maroon Pontiac van. The Pontiac van left Clear Creek Market southbound on Hwy 273 toward Win River Casino.
Detectives telephoned Win River Security to check surveillance for possible leads and to see if the Pontiac van went to the casino. While detectives were enroute to Win River Casino for follow up, the maroon Pontiac van arrived at the casino with Gleed and an adult female. The unidentified female will not be named as there is no evidence she was involved with the robbery. Gleed was ultimately contacted and interviewed. Gleed was determined not to be one of the two suspects involved with the robbery of Ledford. Detectives did confirm Gleed used Ledford’s credit card at Clear Creek Market earlier in the morning as seen on surveillance after Gleed received the credit card from Ezell. Gleed was arrested and booked into the Shasta County Jail for 530.5 PC: Unauthorized use of another person’s information, a felony.
Win River later contacted detectives and reported the Pontiac van arrived at the casino at approximately 5:53 a.m. Surveillance video showed Ezell with Gleed at the casino just after Gleed used Ledford’s stolen credit card at Clear Creek Market. Based upon the newly discovered information regarding Ezell, Detectives issued a probable cause want for Ezell’s arrest for 211 PC: Robbery. Detectives tried to locate Ezell Sunday afternoon and evening, however were unsuccessful.
On Monday, 03/19/18, Sheriff’s Detectives actively searched for Ezell at various transient encampments throughout the City of Redding. Detectives contacted over 100 transients during their search for Ezell, however, he was not located. During this time, Detectives obtained additional information about the second suspect involved in the robbery who was identified as Ethan Mark Taylor, 27 years old. Detectives located Taylor at a transient camp located under the Highway 44 bridge overcrossing of Churn Creek just west of Victor Avenue. Taylor was interviewed and arrested for his involvement in the robbery. Taylor was booked into the Shasta County Jail for 211 PC: Robbery, 459 PC: Burglary, 368 (b) (1) PC: Elder Abuse and 3056 PC:Violation of Parole. Taylor is on parole for 212.5 PC: Robbery which stemmed from a robbery in 2013 where Taylor was sentenced to 5 years State Prison for his involvement of the robbery of cash at Dutch Brothers on South Market in July of 2013.
Today, 03/21/18, the Shasta County Superior Courts issued an arrest warrant for 211 PC:Robbery; 459 PC: Burglary; 368(b) (1) PC: Elder Abuse; $500,000.00 bail, for the arrest of Justin James Ezell, 31 years old. He is described as a white male, 6’3” tall, 210 pounds, white hair, and blue eyes. Ezell is well known in the Redding transient/homeless communities. Ezell is also on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) for 496 PC, Receiving Stolen Property.Refer to attached photographs of Ezell. It is unknown if Ezell is armed with any weapon at this time but he should be considered dangerous. If anyone has information on Ezell’s whereabouts they are urged to contact the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office at 530-245-6540 or the Major Crimes Unit at 530-245-6135. Tipson Ezell’s whereabouts can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org