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Police: Ex-employee’s clown mask proves key clue after armed robbery at Bloomington McDonald’s

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Bloomington police arrested a former employee accused of robbing a McDonald’s at gunpoint while wearing a clown mask.

Police took Juan Rivera, 20, into custody late Wednesday night. The robbery happened around 3:10 a.m. at McDonald’s, 2819 E. Third St. in Bloomington.

According to the store manager, a man in a clown mask came inside, pointed a black handgun at him and demanded money from the register.

The suspect then ordered the manager to unlock the door to a back office, giving him access to a safe, police said. Investigators said the robber got away with about $900.

Witnesses told police that they believed the suspect may have been a former employee who showed them a clown mask last year. They also provided police with a photo of the employee wearing the mask. Witnesses told investigators that they recognized Rivera’s voice. Police obtained a search warrant for Rivera’s apartment and arrested him without incident.

Rivera confessed to the robbery, police said, and said he did it to pay his rent. Police recovered about half of the stolen cash along with clothes matching those of the man who robbed the McDonald’s. Police found a gun in Rivera’s apartment that matched the one used in the theft; it turned out to be a pellet gun.

Police arrested Rivera on charges of armed robbery and criminal confinement. He was taken to the Monroe County Jail.