FAIRFIELD — It took 14 seconds for two men to walk into and then walk out of the Burberry Ltd. store in the Vacaville Factory Outlet Stores on the afternoon of Oct. 8, 2012.
The pair left the store having grabbed up 22 purses that were worth more than $20,000, according to police testimony Monday at a probable cause hearing for 43-year-old Jules L. Hollis.
Hollis is the only suspect so far to face felony robbery and burglary charges for the snatch-and-run robberies both at the Burberry store and for the Oct. 8, 2012, heist of designer handbags at the nearby Gucci store. In that 30-second robbery four men, one of them brandishing a gun, made off with $13,000 worth of high-end handbags, fleeing in a white Chevy Suburban with custom rims.
The Chevy with its distinctive wheels led investigators to a pair of similar heists at Nordstrom stores in the Sacramento area – one of them on the same day as the Burberry robbery – that netted more than $45,000 in handbags.
In one of the Nordstrom’s crimes, an alert employee got the license plate number of the white SUV getaway car, which was registered to a man in Fresno who told investigators he had sold the SUV to Hollis, who he said arrived for the 2012 deal driving a white Suburban.
Store employees in three of the heists identified Hollis as one of the robbers, although one of them testifying at the probable cause hearing said he never told police Hollis’ picture matched his memory of what the robber looked like.
Hollis was arrested in November 2012. Prosecutors shortly before a scheduled jury trial last month dropped and then refiled the charges against Hollis, who is scheduled to be arraigned July 21 on three felonies.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.