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Santa Rosa man arrested in armed robbery of Carl's Jr.

A Santa Rosa man was arrested late Wednesday for the alleged armed robbery of a Carl's Jr. restaurant thanks to astute witnesses who provided descriptions of the robber and his van, and got part of the license plate down, police said.

David Lee McConnell, 28, already was on probation for drug and traffic-related offenses when he was arrested around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday by authorities looking for the van used in the robbery, police said.

McConnell is suspected of being the man who went armed into a Carl's Jr. off Stony Point Road between West Third Street and Occidental Road at about 9:20 p.m. and pointed a gun at a restaurant clerk, demanding money, police said.

The robber left with a large sum of cash, went out to a Chevrolet van where someone else awaited and fled, police said.

But three witnesses were able to provide descriptive information to police who broadcast the information to local law enforcement officials.

About an hour later, a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy spotted a van that matched the description near Guerneville and Fulton roads, and authorities made a high risk stop, detaining two men at gunpoint, authorities said.

The witnesses identified the driver of the van, McConnell, as the gunman, police said.

Investigators who searched his Amoros Court home just more than a mile from the robbery scene found evidence related to the incident, police said.

McConnell was arrested for suspicion of armed robbery and probation violation, and was in custody at the Sonoma County Jail on Thursday, with bail of $32,000.

Police were still trying to determine what, if any, role the second man detained played in the robbery. He was not arrested, Sgt. Steve Fraga said.

Mary Callahan

Environment and Climate Change, The Press Democrat

I am in awe of the breathtaking nature here in Sonoma County and am so grateful to live in this spectacular region we call home. I am amazed, too, by the expertise in our community and by the commitment to protecting the land, its waterways, its wildlife and its residents. My goal is to improve understanding of the issues, to find hope and to help all of us navigate the future of our environment. 

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