After the Oceanside police officer pulled over a white Oldsmobile on August 17 because it lacked a front license plate, he saw a handgun wrapped in a black bandana resting in the baby seat in the back of the car.
After the occupants were secured in handcuffs, officer Justin Pecchia said he determined that the .22 caliber semiautomatic pistol was loaded with nine rounds of ammunition and might be connected to a hold-up that had occurred about an hour earlier.
When Nestor Vilchis got out of the driver’s seat of the Oldsmobile, Pecchia said he saw Vilchis drop a cell phone that was later determined to belong to a man who was robbed at gunpoint the same night. The alleged victim phoned 911 at about ten o’clock that night and said he was walking away from a 7-Eleven store near North River Road in Oceanside when two men jumped out of the bushes wearing bandanas and demanded, “Give me your money.” The robbers also told him, “This could be bad” and “I’ll kill you,” the man reported.
The alleged victim was brought to Elaine Avenue, where police had stopped the Oldsmobile a few blocks from the scene of the alleged robbery. Nestor Vilchis was identified as the man who had snatched a cell phone from the alleged victim.
William Melgar, another occupant of the car, was ID’ed as the gunman who took the victim’s wallet from his back pocket. The victim’s library card was also found inside the Oldsmobile, according to Pecchia.
On October 25, Vilchis, 20, and Melgar, 22, were ordered to face felony charges of assault with a firearm and armed robbery. They both pleaded not guilty through their public defenders. Each suspect is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail. They are next due in the Vista courthouse November 28.