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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Armored Car Driver Held in 3 Thefts

August 25, 2000

SANTA CLARITA — Acting on a tip from his employers, authorities arrested a Brinks armored truck driver Thursday on suspicion of stealing $55,000 from three Taco Bell restaurants.

Hector Jimenez Alejo, 27, of Simi Valley allegedly took money from the safes of all three Santa Clarita restaurants on the night of July 4, said Lt. Mike Dunkle of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Brinks officials suspected Alejo and contacted authorities, who obtained an arrest warrant.

He was arrested as he reported for work about 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dunkle said. A search of his home and car turned up additional evidence, including two handguns and narcotics.

Alejo was booked at the Santa Clarita sheriff's station jail and was transferred to the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles, where he was being held on $1 million bail.

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