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Passerby followed T-Mobile robbery suspects, called 911, Grass Valley police say

Travonn Dill

A woman getting takeout had suspicions about a silver Jeep spotted outside the T-Mobile store, calling authorities and following it as it fled what police have called a robbery.

Grass Valley Detective Clint Lovelady testified Thursday that the woman saw men leave the Glenbrook Basin store on Nov. 15 with items dangling from their hands. The men then got inside the Jeep, where a driver waited, and left.

“She called 911,” Lovelady said of the woman. “She ended up following the Jeep as they fled the scene.”

Authorities say they caught four men that night off Highway 49, between Lime Kiln Road and Little Deer Drive, after the suspects stopped their Jeep and ran.

Prosecutors have accused Zachary Hidvegi, 18; Isaiah Shepherd, 19; Brian Mack, 20; and Travonn Dill, 23, all of Sacramento, of two counts of second-degree robbery. Dill and Mack each face two special allegations of having a prior conviction and being on probation. Shepherd also is accused of being on probation.

Jailed under $250,000 bond each, the four men appeared Thursday for their preliminary hearing in Nevada County Superior Court. Judge Robert Tice-Raskin is expected to determine by Dec. 6 whether enough probable cause exists to advance the case toward trial.

Shepherd sat apart from the other three men during the hearing. Deputy Josie Strachan told the judge that the other three men had threatened him, accusing Shepherd of talking to authorities. She also said Mack became aggressive with another inmate on Tuesday.

The judge ruled before the hearing began that Mack would remain shackled to his seat throughout the proceeding.


Several officers testified about the robbery, pursuit and capture of the four men.

Officer Christopher Roberds said over $9,000 worth of items were taken, though none of the suspects threatened anyone or displayed a weapon. However, some mounts used for displaying cell phones were broken and on the floor.

Cpl. Jesse Cloyd, who was with police dog Rudiger, said he began pursuing the silver Jeep at South Auburn Road. He followed them on foot when the Jeep stopped, shouting he had a dog with him.

“He will find you,” Cloyd said he declared. “And he will bite you.”

Officer Paul McCallum said he helped arrest Dill. Cloyd said Hidvegi was found crouched by a tree near blackberry bushes. McCallum said a California Highway Patrol aircraft, using heat sensing equipment, helped find Mack, who was about 35 yards from Hidvegi.

The aircraft also was used to find Shepherd, authorities have said.

The Nov. 15 robbery is the second time in as many months police say thieves from out of county have struck the Nevada City Highway store.

Police said Darren Henderson and Damiya Jones, both 18 and of Sacramento, and a juvenile robbed the store on Oct. 4. Henderson has since pleaded no contest to his charges. Jones’ case remains pending.

Police have accused two other men of the Oct. 4 robbery, though prosecutors have yet to file charges against them.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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