SALINAS, Calif. - SWAT Team members entered an empty home after a nearly 10-hour standoff on Sherwood Drive near Market Street on Monday. Officials thought a man was hiding inside and refused to come outside.
Police believed the suspect, 27-year-old Delbert Robles, was inside the home when two maintenance workers showed up just after 10 a.m. They said Robles pointed a gun at them and asked them to leave. The workers then called police. When police showed up, a patrol officer saw the front door being shut, but didn't see Robles.
Police believed Robles was the only one at the home and that he was armed and dangerous. So they took all the normal steps in this kind of situation.
"We methodically investigate this crime and you know we're responsible for the outcome and we're going to air on the side of caution," said Salinas Police Commander David Crabill.
But after hours of negotiations and special police tactics, the SWAT team entered the home, did a thorough search and found no one. Commander Crabill said in a situation like this, they don't take any chances, not knowing what may be on the other side of the door.
"We consider the safety of the officers involved and the entire scenario; each situation is different," Crabill said.
This isn't the first time police have been in a standoff with Robles. Police said they had a similar situation in January, but that one ended much sooner. Investigators said Robles used to live at the home but was evicted.
Police said Robles' family believed he was inside the house, and they cooperated all day to try and help their investigation. Now law enforcement are on the lookout for him. They said Robles has a criminal background with weapons and drugs.
Sherwood Drive, between Rossi and Market streets, closed during the standoff, causing traffic to back up in the area.
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