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Robbery suspect accused of pistol-whipping Moreno Valley motel clerk

July 4, 2012 | 12:12 pm

MitchellA Moreno Valley man has been arrested on suspicion of pistol-whipping a motel clerk during a robbery the day before, authorities said.

Michael Wayne Mitchell Jr., 44, was booked Tuesday on suspicion of armed robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said.

Authorities say they believe Mitchell is the man who entered the lobby of the Best Western Motel at 24840 Elder Ave. about 4:15 p.m. Monday, jumped over the counter and pistol-whipped a female clerk. After grabbing an undisclosed amount of money and a safe, the man fled.

A witness spotted a red, late-1990s model Volkswagen Beetle leaving the area and detectives identified it as a suspect vehicle, authorities said. A patrol officer spotted the car parked in the 12000 block of Harclare Drive the next day, and notified robbery detectives.

Mitchell was arrested as he walked out of a home in the area, authorities said. Officers conducted a probation search at the home and "found evidence of the robbery inside," authorities said.

Mitchell was booked in jail after a subsequent interview, authorities said.

Investigators ask anyone who might have additional information about the case to call (951) 486-6700.

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— Kate Mather

twitter.com/katemather

Photo: Michael Wayne Mitchell Jr. Credit: Riverside County Sheriff's Department

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