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Chance meeting on airplane leads to Clearlake robbery

A chance meeting on an airplane may have led to an early morning robbery in Clearlake during which the new acquaintances took cash, a gun, electronics and a large amount of marijuana, Clearlake Police officials said.

An Oakland man was in custody Monday and detectives were still trying to identify two others also suspected of tying up and robbing three adults during the encounter at the Lakeview Terrace Apartments on Old Highway 53 in Clearlake, Clearlake Police Sgt. Rodd Joseph said.

Police suspect Reginald Jerome Patillo, 30, of Oakland was the male half of a couple on a flight from Colorado to San Francisco Nov. 21 who befriended a man from outside California who was on his way to visit friends in Clearlake, Joseph said. The trio exchanged numbers at the end of the flight.

Patillo, the woman and another man showed up after being invited to the Clearlake apartment late Wednesday, police said.

But at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday the visitors pulled out handguns and an AK-47-type assault rifle and threatened the man they met on the plane as well as the two adult residents of the apartment, Joseph said. Police said a 6-year-old girl also lives at the apartment but did not state whether she was present during the robbery.

The suspects bound the adults and took an undisclosed amount of cash, a shotgun, several cell phones, a flat screen television, an Xbox gaming system and an unspecified amount of processed pot, Joseph said.

They left in a black Ford Crown Victoria.

Police tracked Patillo's movements through his cell phone to Berkeley and Oakland. They contacted Berkeley and Oakland police and officers from both agencies arrested Patillo, who is on parole for a robbery conviction, at 3:30 am Friday at an Oakland motel for a parole violation, Joseph said.

He remained in custody in Alameda County Monday. Lake County authorities expect to issue a warrant for Patillo's arrest on suspicion of robbery, burglary, grand theft of a firearm, exhibiting a firearm, grand theft and conspiracy, Joseph said.

Officers were still trying to identify the two other suspects.


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