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Hesperia, AV men suspects in kidnappings, armed robberies

BARSTOW • A suspect bagged by a Barstow Police K-9 unit last week is an alleged accomplice in the commission of a series of armed robberies and kidnappings with apparent gang ties, authorities said Thursday.

Robert Whitnack, 29, and John Hanson, 38, were targets of an investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's gang unit that began Jan. 23, according to a news release.

Both men are believed to be affiliated with the Nazi Low Riders criminal street gang, according to the release.

The sheriff's High Desert Regional Gang Enforcement Team arrested Whitnack in Barstow with help from a police K-9 unit after he fled into the desert near Windy Pass and Dolomite Street.

Whitnack, a Hesperia resident, was found to be in possession of a loaded shotgun, authorities said. He was charged with first-degree robbery and possession of syringes. He also had warrants for kidnapping and assault with a firearm on a person, arrest records showed.

Hanson was arrested by authorities in Apple Valley, where he resides, in possession of a loaded pistol.

Whitnack and Hanson were booked for several felonies, including robbery, kidnapping and being a felon in possession of a firearm, the release stated. The two men are being held at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

Whitnack is due in Barstow Superior Court on Monday for his possession charge, court records showed.

Both men are scheduled to appear in Victorville Superior Court on Wednesday for the other charges, court records showed.

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