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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Moorpark

Fast-Food Manager Held in Robbery

March 13, 2000|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

The 22-year-old night manager of a McDonald's restaurant was arrested on suspicion of robbing his workplace at gunpoint early Sunday, authorities said.

Cesar Amador Lopez was arrested at his family's home in Thousand Oaks about 8:20 a.m. and remained jailed Sunday night in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department.

The holdup occurred about 4:30 a.m. when assistant manager Tony Solano, 25, arrived to open the eatery, which is in the 500 block of New Los Angeles Avenue, authorities said.

After Solano flipped on the lights he was confronted by a masked gunman who demanded he open the safe.

Authorities believe Lopez either remained at the store after his shift ended about 2 a.m. Sunday or returned shortly before Solano arrived.

Solano told deputies he was ordered to lie on the floor of an office while the robber cleaned out the safe.

During the heist, another employee arrived for work, and the robber told Solano to go tell the employee to leave. Instead, Solano fled with the employee. They drove to a phone and called deputies.

The robber was gone when deputies arrived but Solano apparently recognized the suspect because of a mole or other facial characteristic that wasn't covered by the mask, authorities said.

Deputies searched Lopez's home and found several hundred dollars allegedly stolen in the robbery, authorities said.

A fake handgun was found inside a car Lopez had been driving and his boots, trousers and bank deposit bags stolen in the robbery were found in a trash can near the McDonald's, authorities said.

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