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First Street Del Taco robbed at gunpoint

Two teens, former Del Taco employee under arrest

Staff Writer

BARSTOW • With help from a former employee, two armed thieves robbed the First Street Del Taco on Wednesday night, stealing cash, receipts and gift cards, according to a police press release.

Joel Bautista, 31, Joel Salcedo, 18, and an unidentified 15-year-old, all from Barstow, were arrested for their suspected involvement in the crime.

At 10:38 p.m., the Barstow Police Department Dispatch Center received a call of an armed robbery in progress at 401 N. First Ave. — home to the original Del Taco.

The robbers were described as two males of either black or Hispanic origin, wearing masks and gloves and armed with firearms.

Soon after police received the call, following a short foot pursuit, a 15-year-old male was arrested and charged with armed robbery. Police said they discovered evidence on the suspect including clothing matching the description given by witnesses, weapons and additional items used in the robbery.

The juvenile suspect was booked at the High Desert Juvenile Detention and Assessment Center in Apple Valley.

On Thursday morning, detectives identified Salcedo as the other suspect in the robbery, according to police. Police also said Bautista, a former Del Taco employee, helped Salcedo by providing key information about the business.

At approximately 11:45 a.m., detectives began surveillance on a possible location of Salcedo. When he left the home, he was taken into custody without incident.

Detectives later contacted Bautista and took him into custody for his involvement in the robbery.

No injuries were reported during the crime.

This marks the second time in less than two years that the Del Taco at the First Street location has been burglarized by gunpoint. In March of last year, three men were arrested and charged with also robbing the fast-food restaurant.

New mayor-elect Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre is the niece of Barstow’s original 1964 Del Taco owner.

“I’m glad no one was hurt,” she said, speaking of the incident. “Our policy has always been, ‘Give them the money.’ ”

Hackbarth-McIntyre also said security measures for the restaurant include cameras, which record both in and outside the building, and the policy that states no employees are allowed to leave work by just themselves when closing.

The investigation is still under investigation by the police and anyone with information is asked to call Detective Keith Libby at (760) 255-5134 or the police at (760) 256-2211. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.

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