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Robbery suspect walks out of Indio jail

John Albert Van Winkle, 23, posted $25,000 bail

BERMUDA DUNES, Calif. - A Bermuda Dunes man suspected of holding up a Mexican restaurant in Palm Desert was released from jail today after posting bond.

John Albert Van Winkle, 23, was arrested in his vehicle Tuesday on Blackhawk Way near Jefferson Street. He was suspected of robbing a Mexican restaurant at 73850 Highway 111 around 2:30 p.m. the same day, sheriff's Deputy Angel Ramos said. That address is associated with Taqueria Sinaloense.

"A (man) entered the business, brandished a handgun, and demanded the money from the cash register. The suspect received an undetermined amount of
money and left the location on foot," Ramos said.

Later, authorities served a search warrant at Van Winkle's residence in Bermuda Dunes. Van Winkle posted a $25,000 bond today and was expected to be
arraigned Sept. 12 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, according to jail records.

Ramos said investigators are still looking into similar robberies in the area. Four eateries were robbed in La Quinta and Bermuda Dunes between June
22 and July 5, and investigators believe they are related.

"In each of the four robberies, a single male suspect entered the business, brandished a handgun and demanded money," said sheriff's Sgt. Steve

The robberies occurred at Dairy Queen, 41-800 Washington St., Bermuda Dunes, on June 22; Cold Stone Creamery, 78-370 Highway 111, La Quinta, on the Fourth of July; and at Teddy's Doughnuts, 40-100 Washington St. in Bermuda Dunes, and China Joe's, 78-550 Highway 111, La Quinta, both last Thursday.

DaSilva said the suspect left in a white 1990s four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota or Lexus, driven by another male. No one was injured during any of
the robberies.

The suspect was described as 20 to 25 years old, 5-foot-9 to 6 feet tall with a thin build and brown hair. There was no description of the driver of
the getaway car.

Anyone with information about the robberies was asked to contact sheriff's Investigator Andy Martinez at 760-863-8305, Coachella Valley Crime
Stoppers at 760-341-7867, or email

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