DA files charge in hash brown robbery 

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The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station. Courtesy of the city of Santa Clarita.

A 35-year-old Canyon Country man is being charged with one count of robbery after being accused of brandishing a black metal “Glock 19” model BB gun at a fast-food restaurant and demanding a free hash brown, according to court records obtained by The Signal. 

The suspect purchased breakfast at the McDonald’s on the corner of Sierra Highway and Via Princessa at 5:30 a.m. Oct. 1, and after leaving the location, returned and walked up to the victim, who was working at the third window of the drive-thru line at the time, according to a written report of the incident. 

“The victim was met with a customer demanding a third hash brown,” according to a detective’s recounting of the incident in a court document. “The victim checked the suspect’s receipt and advised the suspect he had only paid for two hash browns and not a third. The suspect repeatedly told the victim, ‘Don’t (expletive) with me, (victim’s name clearly visible on this name tag),’ before retrieving a firearm from the vehicle and pointing it at the victim’s chest area,” according to the detective’s statement in the report. 

“The victim, being in fear for his life and believing the suspect would shoot him … provided the suspect and (sic) additional hash brown,” according to the detective’s statement of probable cause. The cost of a single hash brown is $2.99, according to a store employee reached by phone Wednesday at the McDonald’s on Decoro Drive.  

Sheriff’s officials, using security footage, tracked the suspect to his home after investigators identified his vehicle, which was registered to the suspect’s wife, according to the court records.  

The suspect’s home and vehicle were then searched, which led to detectives recovering an air-powered pellet gun as evidence on Oct. 18, according to court records. 

He was arrested at 10:33 a.m. Oct. 18, according to the Sheriff’s Department arrest records available online. 

He was held in custody until Oct. 24, when he was released on his own recognizance. 

Prosecutors with the DA’s office filed one count of Penal Code 211, “the felonious taking of personal property in the possession of another, from his person or immediate presence, and against his will, accomplished by means of force or fear,” against the Canyon Country resident on Oct. 20. 

He pleaded not guilty at his Oct. 23 arraignment at the L.A. County Superior Court in San Fernando. 

Online records indicate he’s expected in court Nov. 29 to set a future date for a preliminary hearing, when the evidence is presented to a judge who decides whether there’s enough for trial. 

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