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Suspected gas station thieves captured

Pair wanted for stealing cash from 2 SCV stations.

Posted: March 25, 2008 9:57 p.m.
Updated: May 27, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Rhonda Silva. Rhonda Silva.
Rhonda Silva.
Robert Miller. Robert Miller.
Robert Miller.
A duo suspected of stealing more than $230,000 from some 80 West Coast gas stations, including two in the Santa Clarita Valley, have been arrested in Washington state following a three-state, Bonnie-and-Clyde-style chase, officials said Tuesday.

The Lewis County Sheriff's Office in Washington responded to reports of a theft from an ARCO in Chehalis, where Robert Jesse Miller and Rhonda Rene Silva allegedly stole cash from the gas station's PayQuick Island Cashier machine, according to reports.

Shortly after deputies responded, Miller and Silva were pulled over a few miles from the gas station. Upon searching the vehicle, deputies reportedly found in their vehicle large amounts of currency and tools consistent with the crimes.

Deputies immediately suspected Miller and Silva to be the culprits in the crimes, and they were both taken into custody without incident on Thursday, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.

Law enforcement officials sought Miller and Silva in connection with money stolen from as many as 80 ARCO gas stations in California, Oregon and Washington.

The thefts, which date as far back as January 2007, occurred throughout California, including two incidents in the Santa Clarita Valley earlier this year. It was in the SCV where the suspects were originally identified when local sheriff's officials obtained video stills of Miller and Silva from the two local gas stations.

Sheriff's deputies in Santa Clarita sent bulletins, with mug shots of the suspects, to various law enforcement groups to inform them of the crime spree.

Miller and Silva were booked at the Lewis County Jail and face felony charges of second degree theft and first degree malicious mischief.

They are each being held in lieu of $150,000 bail. Detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station also seeking charges in the two Santa Clarita cases.


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