Three arrested for SJ McDonald's robbery

August 18, 2008 7:00:11 PM PDT
A freeway chase in the South Bay ended with three suspects in custody, in what police say was a takeover robbery. It is a crime trend that seems to be spreading through the Bay Area.

A McDonald's security video released by San Jose police shows an employee handing over money to an armed robber. Police say the takeover robbery occurred at about 6:00 a.m. on Monday.

Joshua Blankenship was inside.

"Probably within five or six minutes after opening the doors there were two men who walked in with handguns. And asked to be taken to the safe," said Blankenship.

The gunmen didn't just ask, according to Joshua, who works at the drive through window. Two men with ski masks and hoods pointed their guns at the five workers inside and took them to the rear of the restaurant. No customers were involved.

"I had a gun pointed at too," said Blankenship.

"What did you do?" asked ABC7's Tomas Roman.

I just walked them to the back of the safe," said Blankenship.

The robbery terrified McDonalds worker Maria Elena Nunez, and she left work two hours early to recover at home. The shock on her face after being held at gunpoint needs no translation.

"They told me that if I moved they would shoot me. So I just stood still," said Nunez.

A witness nearby told police the two suspects took off in a red firebird with another man at the wheel. An officer noticed the car getting onto Highway 101 and gave chase. With the help of the CHP, the three suspects were stopped and arrested without incident.

"They did a traffic break to kind of stop traffic behind in case of any you know worst case scenario and kind of shots fired," said Mike Sullivan from the San Jose Police Department.

Police recovered two handguns and the stolen money.

Police have identified the suspects as Duarte Rentie and Miguel and Jalo Afable, who they believe are related. They'll be charged with felony armed robbery and possible kidnapping.

San Jose police say these kinds of takeover robberies are becoming a trend all over the Bay Area. They're going to step up patrols to insure what happened in Oakland over the past couple of months doesn't happen in the South Bay.

This is security camera video from one of those takeover robberies, the kind of video San Jose police don't want to be reviewing.

"We're just trying to put the full court press on this type of crime so we can get rid of it," said Sullivan.

Oakland has had more than its share of armed robberies. There have been more than 2,500 hold-ups in Oakland this year, now surpassing the total for all of last year.

Numbers provided to ABC7 News by police in San Jose and San Francisco show they are not on pace to break any records, so far.


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