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Tuesday, Apr 22 2014 12:05 PM

Restaurant manager allegedly staged Carl's Jr. robbery

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Investigators solved a burglary allegedly hatched by a Carl's Jr. manager and a buddy in about as much time as it takes to serve a Western Bacon Thickburger.

Ernesto Huerta, the manager of the Carl's Jr. at 21937 Highway 46, told deputies he was opening the restaurant at 5:50 a.m. April 17 when a man wearing a ski mask and wielding a knife approached him, deputies said. The man held the knife to his throat and ordered him to open the store's safe.

Huerta did as instructed and the suspect got away with $1,500 in cash, deputies said.

Security footage showed the suspect entered the store and confronted Huerta in the manager's office. Deputies identified the suspect as 30-year-old Christian Orozco and tracked him to a nearby motel room.

Deputies said they found the ski mask in the room and recovered a portion of the money.

A short time later they determined the robbery had been planned and staged by Huerta and Orozco. Deputies said Huerta drove Orozco to an area near the Carl's Jr. and dropped him off just before opening the restaurant.

The two planned to split the money, deputies said.

Both men were booked the same day of the crime on suspicion of conspiracy, burglary and grand theft.

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