Two Turlock residents are facing several felony criminal charges for robbing a Taco Bell at gunpoint and forcing the employees into a freezer.
Monique Garcia, 21, and Patricia Pires, 18, were taken into custody Thursday on allegations of robbery, kidnapping, and conspiracy, said Turlock Police spokesperson Russ Holeman.
The robbery occurred in the early morning hours of July 14 at the Taco Bell at 2700 Geer Road.
The police report states one of the suspects forced her way into the eatery at gunpoint and ordered the employees present to get into a walk-in refrigerator. The suspect then proceeded to empty the cash registers and the safe, before fleeing in a waiting vehicle, driven by the second suspect.
The employees were able to free themselves from the cooler and were able to contact the police department.
There were no injuries as a result of the robbery.
Given how the suspect entered the restaurant, investigators suspected the culprit was familiar with the establishment and likely was a past or current employee, said Holeman.
“From that, they [the detectives] were able to narrow it down to one of the suspects who was a current employee and her co-conspirator who was an ex-employee,” said Holeman.
Detectives interviewed both Garcia and Pires who confessed to the crime. A replica firearm was recovered as was some of the cash which had been stolen.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call Detective Frank Navarro 664-7319. You can also contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.