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Man tries to steal restaurant’s computer, pretends to be manager

The bar area at Clearman's Steak 'n' Stein in Pico Rivera in 2003; a man is accused of trying to take a computer and claiming to be the manager at the restaurant.
(Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times)

When asked why he was sneaking out of a Pico Rivera restaurant with a computer, Fernando Castillo offered a simple answer: I’m the manager.

Only problem? The person asking was the actual manager.

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“It was an ‘I’m the manager, no I’m the manager’ type of thing,” Sgt. Ernest Bille of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said of the back-and-forth exchange at Clearman’s Steak ‘n Stein on Tuesday night.

As employees prepped to close for the night, Castillo sneaked in, unplugged a computer monitor and tried to leave the restaurant with it, authorities said.

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“We don’t know at what point he was able to get in,” Bille said. “We don’t know if he was hiding or what.”

When the 24-year-old suspect tried to flee the scene, he got stuck between two sets of doors, which the employees locked behind him, Bille said.

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When deputies arrived at the restaurant to arrest the suspect on burglary charges later that night, he was still inside the makeshift secured entryway.

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marisa.gerber@latimes.com


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