The man suspected in Monday morning’s armed robbery at a Las Cruces Taco Bell restaurant has been arrested.
Marvin Lynn Tidwell Jr., 38, of the 4200 block of Hoffman Drive, is charged with two second-degree felony counts of armed robbery and two second-degree felony counts of kidnapping.
Las Cruces police learned that about 3 a.m. Monday, May 27, two employees were delivering food and supplies to the Taco Bell restaurant, at 770 south Walnut St., when they were held up at gunpoint by a man. The victims told investigators the armed man took their wallets and cell phones before locking them in the restaurant’s walk-in freezer.
Shortly after being locked in the freezer, the victims heard at least two gunshots. The two victims waited several minutes before exiting the freezer and calling 911 to report the incident.
Investigators observed video surveillance from inside the Taco Bell and learned that the suspect tried to force open the safe before firing multiple rounds from a handgun at the safe. He’s then seen leaving through the back door of the restaurant. No injuries were reported.
Shortly after the armed robbery, someone used a credit card from one of the stolen wallets at the Jack in the Box at 4615 north Sonoma Ranch Blvd. Investigators viewed video surveillance from that transaction and determined it was the same suspect from the armed robbery. A Las Cruces police officer recognized the suspect as Tidwell, a man she had an interaction with on Sunday.
Investigators also learned that a 37-year-old woman, Charlotte F. Brown, was with Tidwell the morning he committed the armed robbery, but she remained in Tidwell’s gray Lincoln Navigator while he committed the crime. Brown was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant for violating terms of her probation.
Tidwell was arrested Monday afternoon near Foster Road and Alamo Street. Property from the victims of the armed robbery was located in Tidwell’s vehicle. Tidwell was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s initially being held without bond.