Man previously on lam for alleged Indio business robberies pleads not guilty

INDIO, Calif. - A 19-year-old man accused of robbing an Indio discount store and trying to hold up a pizza business across the street within a seven-minute period, then spending nearly two months on the run, pleaded not guilty Friday to robbery and attempted robbery charges.

Anthony Quintana, 19, of Indio, was arrested Tuesday night near Avenue 66 and state Route 86 in Mecca, according to jail records.

Read: Coachella man pleads guilty to Indio armed robberies, accomplice remains at large

His alleged accomplice, 18-year-old Angel Fernandez of Coachella, was taken into custody a day after the Aug. 8 robbery of the Dollar Tree store at 42225 Jackson St. and the attempted robbery of Domino's Pizza at 81942 Highway 111.

An employee working the register at Domino's told police that two young men entered and acted nonchalantly, like "just another pair of customers.'' Quintana then allegedly approached the register and displayed "either a gun or knife,'' while Fernandez "stood by in the background,'' 
according to a declaration in support of an arrest warrant.

Quintana allegedly told the worker to "give me the money and no one will get hurt,'' but the employee had trouble opening the register because it was locked. Fernandez then approached Quintana, said "Hurry up, let's go,'' and the men left, the declaration states.

Seven minutes later, the Dollar Tree was robbed at knifepoint of about $300 in cash. The suspects were identified picked out by clerks via surveillance footage.

Fernandez pleaded guilty to a robbery count about two weeks later. He was out on bail for an April 26 Coachella robbery -- to which he also pleaded guilty -- at the time of the Indio crimes. He was sentenced to four years for the Coachella robbery and five years for the Indio heist, though those sentences will be served concurrently.

Quintana, who's being held in lieu of $175,000 bail, will return to court Oct. 18 for a felony settlement conference.

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