A Redlands off duty cop recently used his quick thinking to get a robbery suspect to drive straight to his arrest, using a $100 dollar bill as a lure.
On Nov. 29, the officer was at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage when he spotted a man who matched the description of a robbery suspect in the parking lot.
Redlands Police received a call earlier about an armed robbery at the Union 76 gas station at 1075 Parkford Drive in the early morning hours. The suspect allegedly demanded money from the clerk while lifting his shirt to show he was armed with a pistol, according to a news release.
The robber fled east on the 10 freeway before encountering the off-duty officer.
According to Redlands Police Chief Chris Catren, the department sends text alerts about crimes to all officers, whether on or off duty. Catren, who would not name the officer, explained how the officer was not equipped to make an arrest, so he instead concocted a strategy to get the suspect to drive into a trap.
According to Catren, the clever officer approached the suspect asking for directions to the Morongo Casino in Cabazon, roughly 25 miles west. The officer then went further and offered the suspect $100 dollars to drive there with the officer following behind – the suspect accepted.
During the drive, the off-duty officer contacted sheriff’s deputies and told them where they were headed. Upon exiting the freeway near the casino, deputies were waiting, and pulled the suspect over. After making the arrest, they discovered the suspect had a prop gun.
The suspect was identified as Eric Valare Duma, 42, of Sun City. He was booked in the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on suspicion of robbery, with a bail set at $100,000.
Catren, who was surprised that the ruse worked, said “it just goes to show what someone will do for money.”
“It just goes to show you that a little quick thinking can go a long way,” the chief added. “Sometimes you have to get a little creative in law enforcement.”