An Oakland man suspected of robbing two McDonald’s restaurants in San Mateo and Pleasanton at gunpoint has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges, police and prosecutors said. Felix Jeronimo Gonzalez-Becerra, 42, is believed to have robbed a McDonald’s at Santa Rita Road and Pimlico Drive in Pleasanton at about 3 a.m. on Aug. 28, San Mateo police Sgt. David Norris said.
In that robbery, a man wearing white cloth gloves and a white full-face mask held employees at gunpoint, forced them into a freezer and demanded cash, Pleasanton police Lt. Scott Rohovit said. Becerra was arrested by San Mateo police on Sept. 2 after allegedly robbing a McDonald’s in the Laurelwood Shopping Center at 1234 W. Hillsdale Blvd. around 10:30 p.m. that day, Norris said.
In that case, the robber entered the restaurant and also forced employees into a freezer at gunpoint. He ordered one of the employees to open a safe, and then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, Norris said. Police broadcast a description of the robber to nearby law enforcement agencies, and a San Mateo police officer spotted the suspect driving a dark-colored Chrysler PT Cruiser toward the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge, Norris said.
Officers followed the vehicle and pulled over Becerra on Interstate Highway 880 in San Leandro, according to police. He was arrested and booked into San Mateo County Jail, Norris said. Pleasanton police investigators later learned Becerra was a manager at the McDonald’s he had allegedly robbed in their city, Rohovit said. No one was injured in either robbery, Norris said.
Becerra appeared in San Mateo County Superior Court on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to three counts of robbery, three counts of kidnapping for the purpose of robbery and three counts of false imprisonment, San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. He is being held without bail and is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 9 to set a date for a preliminary hearing. The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office will charge him separately for the Pleasanton crime.
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