Authorities are trying to determine if a suspected armed robber who led Riverside police on a short pursuit before crashing and sparking a brush fire Thursday evening is also the person responsible for a series of recent fast food robberies in Orange County.
Police received a call about 4:30 p.m. reporting an armed robbery at the Carl’s Jr. located at 10010 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside Police Department public information Officer Ryan Railsback said.
Officers spotted a car believed to have been used in the robbery about 3 or 4 miles from the restaurant and pulled it over.
Two men were found inside the vehicle, including the driver who matched the description of the Carl’s Jr. robbery suspect.
After the passenger got out of the vehicle, the driver started the car and drove away, Railsback said.
Police went back to their car and pursued the vehicle as the passenger, who is still outstanding, ran off.
The driver went off a small embankment and crashed about three miles away from where the pursuit began, Railsback said.
The driver fled from the vehicle, which caught fire a short time later.
Police caught the driver, suspected not only of the Carl’s Jr. robbery but another robbery on July 20 in Riverside, Railsback said.
City of Riverside firefighters responded to the car fire, which burned about a half-acre of brush near the intersection of Mountain House and Kingdom drives before it was extinguished.
Authorities gathered enough evidence to call Orange County authorities and suggest they come down to investigate if the same man was responsible for a series of fast food robberies there, Railsback said.
The Garden Grove Police Department stated in a news release Friday that they would not confirm any possible connection between their robberies and the man taken into custody until the investigation was complete.
“We want to insure that our investigation is not tainted in any way that may hinder prosecution of a possible suspect,” the Police Department stated.
Garden Grove police asked the public for help on Wednesday in locating a man who had robbed seven business over a period of 11 days.
Police provided images of the man sought in those robberies.