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Armed-Robbery Suspect Collared by Off-Duty Officer

August 26, 1995

ANAHEIM — A man suspected of several armed robberies in Garden Grove and Fountain Valley was arrested by an off-duty officer while allegedly fleeing from a grocery store heist, police said.

Steven Eugene Ernst, 36, a transient, entered the Farm Fresh Market, 944 S. Nutwood St., Friday afternoon and got away with several hundred dollars in cash after threatening the clerk with a knife, said acting Anaheim Police Lt. Ron Good.

The clerk who saw the suspect's car leave got the license plate number and notified police.

Police Investigator Robert Wardle, who had just left work, spotted the suspect's car near Euclid Street and Trask Avenue as it entered the Garden Grove Freeway.

Wardle, who was in a unmarked police car, radioed for assistance and stopped the suspect's car as it got off the freeway at Beach Boulevard in Garden Grove.

Ernst was booked on armed robbery charges and taken to the department's temporary detention facility, Good said.

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