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Man guilty of robbing former employer Neal Putnam | Sat, May 24 2014 12:00 PM

A Chula Vista man who held up a taco shop where he used to work has pleaded guilty to committing two robberies and will be sentenced Thursday, May 29, to five years in state prison.

Although Victor David Bernal, 23, wore a ski mask to avoid being recognized by old friends at the El Ranchero Taco Shop, employees noticed the robber knew where the cash was kept in the restaurant at 1324 Third Ave. in Chula Vista.

He disguised himself by wearing camouflage fatigues and a tactical vest and was charged with holding up the taco shop twice at midnight and once at 5 a.m.

He was also charged with holding up a 7-Eleven at 1482 Hilltop Drive in Chula Vista.

Deputy District Attorney Matthew Williams said Bernal personally knew some of the people he robbed and he lived close to both businesses. Williams said the cash was kept in a secret location in the taco shop that was only known to employees.

Bernal used an air-soft pistol in the hold-ups, said Williams. Probation has been ruled out. Chula Vista Police searched

Bernal’s residence on Second Avenue and found evidence linking him to the robberies. He was arrested Jan. 14 and police said he acted alone in all four robberies.

The 7-Eleven robbery took place on Oct. 28, 2013. The taco shop was robbed on Nov. 23, Dec. 24 and Jan. 12.

Bernal remains in the South Bay Detention Facility without bail.

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