MODESTO, Calif.- An armed robbery at a McDonald’s this month marked the start of an 1,100-mile crime spree authorities are blaming on a teenaged Bonnie and Clyde.

Authorities said they believe the pair robbed at least six McDonald’s in four states before police in Fort Hancock, Texas, finally caught them after they ran a stop sign.

Law enforcement officials identified the restaurant robbery suspect as Samuel Isidro Ramirez, 19, of Oakdale, Calif.. Ramirez is in El Paso County Jail.

He was accompanied by a 16-year-old girl, also an Oakdale resident. Authorities did not release her name because of her age. An Oakdale police report described the female in the robber’s car as white, with long blonde hair and a slim build, although an Arizona agency listed a girl with brown hair. Authorities are investigating whether the female who was with Ramirez was a willing participant in the crimes.

Ramirez and the girl were once employees of the Oakdale McDonald’s, Oakdale Police Chief Marty West said.

Before the two were stopped in Texas last week, authorities said they traced a path of crime across the West, brandishing a fake gun at drive-through windows and demanding money.

Authorities gave the following account:

The spree began at the Oakdale McDonald’s on Aug. 7, when clerks reported that a couple in a red four-door car had robbed the drive-through window clerk. The employee handed over cash after a man showed the clerk what appeared to be a semiautomatic pistol. Police said the man was Ramirez.

A male-female pair struck again the next day, with mixed success. In Eloy, Ariz. – about 750 miles from Oakdale – the couple attempted to rob another McDonald’s at 10:14 p.m. But in this case, the counter clerk closed her window, ducked below the counter and waited for the would-be robbers to leave, said Amanda Villescaz with the Eloy Police Department.

Forty-five minutes later and 30 miles to the east, the couple visited a third Golden Arches, this one in Marana, Ariz., just outside Tucson. The couple robbed the McDonald’s off Interstate 10, the highway that stretches from Los Angeles to Louisiana.

The pair pulled up to the restaurant’s drive-through window, ordered hamburgers, then threatened the window clerk with what appeared to be a gun. The weapon later was discovered to be a high-quality replica of a .45-caliber semiautomatic hand gun, Texas Ranger Aaron Grigsby said. The robbers made off with less than $100, said Sgt. Bill Derfus of the Marana Police Department.

The next day, Aug. 9, the couple hit a McDonald’s in Deming, N.M., just after 4 p.m., according to police. Again, they struck out. The clerk at the window told the man and his companion that only managers had access to money.

A few hours later in El Paso, Texas, two more robberies were attempted, one at a Jack In the Box restaurant and one at a McDonald’s. At some point, police said, the couple robbed a McDonald’s in Las Cruces, N.M.; it wasn’t clear when that happened.

In the end, police said, it was a routine traffic violation that halted the trail of crime. Three hours after the robbery at the El Paso McDonald’s, a car ran a stop sign in Fort Hancock, about two miles from the Mexican border. Hudspeth County sheriff’s deputies pulled over the car. When deputies ran the girl’s name and date of birth through their database, they discovered that she had been reported as a runaway. Ramirez, meanwhile, popped up as under investigation for a possible kidnapping, Grigsby said.


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