A former employee of Santa Rosa Hydroponics was arrested in the Lake Tahoe area this week on suspicion of robbing the Rincon Valley area shop on Oct. 29, police said.
Investigators believe former Santa Rosa resident Jesse Hicks, 28, was the armed man who turned up at the Highway 12 business near Middle Rincon Road with his face covered by a cloth and wearing a hood, authorities said.
But the robber used a first name in demanding money from the frightened clerk and, because of his distinctive voice, gait and mannerisms, was later identified by witnesses despite his facial coverings, police said.
Hicks reportedly had been fired from his job just a few months earlier, police Sgt. Dave Linscomb said.
A bulletin alerting other law enforcement agencies that Hicks was wanted in Santa Rosa was still circulating Wednesday when a CHP officer in South Lake Tahoe stopped a vehicle driven by Hicks, police said. He was detained while Santa Rosa police detectives could be dispatched to the region.
Hicks apparently had rented an apartment in Stateline, Nev., and moved there, police said.
Investigators obtained a warrant to search the apartment and recovered evidence from the robbery, police said.
Hicks was ultimately arrested for suspected robbery and booked into the El Dorado County Jail, awaiting transfer to Sonoma County, authorities said.
Anyone with information about the case can call the Santa Rosa Police Department Violent Crimes Team at (707) 543-3590.