LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Police arrested the man who allegedly robbed two Las Cruces Taco Bell employees at gunpoint before attempting to force the restaurant's safe open with his gun.
Investigators charged 38-year-old Marvin Lynn Tidwell Jr., of the 4200 block of Hoffman Drive, with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of kidnapping.
Police said Tidwell held two employees delivering food and supplies to the Taco Bell at 770 Walnut Street at gunpoint. It allegedly happened at about 3 a.m. on Monday May 27, 2019.
The victims claim Tidwell took their wallets and cell phones before locking them in the restaurant's walk-in freezer. While inside the freezer, the victims heard at least two gunshots. The employees waited several minutes before exiting the freezer and calling 911 for help.
Investigators observed video surveillance from inside the Taco Bell and learned Tidwell tried to force the safe open by firing multiple rounds from a handgun at the safe. In the video, Tidwell is seen leaving through the back door of the restaurant.
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, police said. Investigators viewed video surveillance from that transaction and determined it was Tidwell.
Investigators also learned a 37-year-old woman, Charlotte F. Brown, was with Tidwell the morning he allegedly committed the armed robbery. Police said Brown remained in Tidwell's gray Lincoln Navigator while he committed the crime. Police arrested Brown 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, police said. Tidwell was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he's initially being held without bond.