A man wearing a red Halloween mask and wielding what turned out to be a toy gun escaped with $2,000 from a fast-food restaurant, only to be captured a few minutes later, police and witnesses said Sunday.
“He said, ‘Grab the money, grab the money,’ and then he grabbed me around the neck and put the gun to my head,” said Amber Garcia, 16, who has worked in the Arby’s at 7942 Edinger Ave. for six months. The gunman then told employees to sit on the floor and look the other way while one of them opened the restaurant’s safe and got the money, Garcia added.
Police said the robber had showed up at the restaurant at about 2:45 p.m. Saturday. He accosted an employee outside the restaurant and put a gun in her side, police said. He then ordered the employee to “get him inside,” police added.
Garcia said she heard the bell at the back door ring and asked who it was. When her manager answered, Garcia opened the door. Her manager stood outside, clutched tightly by a masked man pressing a gun to her.
Although it turned out to be a toy, police said the plastic gun was a replica of an Uzi machine gun. Garcia said it had been scuffed to look more realistic.
Once employees had turned over the cash, the gunman fled out the back door and police were notified. A few minutes later, officers in a police helicopter spotted a man a few blocks away whose clothing matched the employees’ description of the robber’s.
Scott Evans DaVeiga of Long Beach, 24 and unemployed, was arrested on suspicion of robbery and was being held in Huntington Beach City Jail Sunday.