An off-duty police officer tricked a suspect into driving right to uniformed officers who were waiting to arrest him.
The robber demanded money from the clerk while he lifted his shirt to reveal what appeared to be a handgun. The suspect then fled east on the 10 Freeway.
In an interview, police Chief Chris Catren said Redlands police send text alerts on crimes like these to all its officers.
The off-duty officer, who remains anonymous, saw a man matching the description of the robber in the parking lot of the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage.
But because he was off duty, he was not equipped to detain the man, said Catren.
Instead, the officer improvised and hatched a plan to get the suspect to drive toward an area where there were law enforcement officers.
The officer asked the suspect for directions to the Morongo Casino in Cabazon, about 25 miles to the west. The officer then offered the suspect $100 to drive there with the officer following him, which the suspect accepted.
During the trip, the officer confirmed that the man was the suspect in the robbery and told sheriff's deputies where they were headed.
When the suspect exited the freeway in Cabazon, deputies pulled him over and arrested him.
Redlands police identified the man as Eric Valare Duma, 42, of Sun City. He was booked on suspicion of armed robbery into West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.