SAN BERNARDINO – A documented gang member who robbed restaurant employees at gunpoint, struck a victim and stole a car was eventually tracked down by police.
The man suspected of the Aug. 25 crime, Edwin Juan Gonzalez, had recently been released from prison, according to San Bernardino Police Lt. Gwendolyn Waters.
At 1:16 p.m. at the KFC location at 256 E. 40th St., police received the call that KFC employees had been robbed with a firearm, said Waters. The suspect was thought to be an adult Hispanic male.
“He stole several hundred dollars and fled the area in one of the victim’s vehicles, which he stole at gunpoint,” she said.
Waters said one victim sustained moderate injuries when he was struck with the firearm. When officers located the stolen car several blocks away from the restaurant, they secured the area for a search.
“Witnesses helped police narrow down the search,” said Waters, adding that it led to Gonzalez’ arrest in an apartment at 141 East 42nd St. “He was positively identified and numerous pieces of corroborating evidence were located, including a sawed off rifle and the stolen money.”
“Several (people) pointed out the suspect … as he left the car and ran through the area. Then we had a phone call from an unidentified caller who told us what apartment (he) ran into,” Waters said.
The stolen vehicle was later found by an investigating officer.
Gonzalez is a documented gang member currently on parole for home invasion robbery, having been released from prison less than three weeks before the crime, Waters said.
He is being charged in five counts of robbery, five counts of kidnapping, plus one count of assault and carjacking, and is being held at the West County Detention Center.
Police are crediting Gonzalez’ capture to “alert citizens who took swift action in helping police,” Waters said.