A man police believe took a cash register from a Salt Lake restaurant Monday was arrested this afternoon after attempting to do the same thing in Taylorsville.
About 2 p.m., a man walked into Magic Wok, 3770 W. 5400 South, approached the main counter and took the entire cash register, said Taylorsville police Sgt. Rosie Rivera. Witnesses claimed the man had a gun.
The man ran out the door with the register, but in an effort to get away from pursuing employees, dropped the cash register in the road and tried to carjack a woman's vehicle, Rivera said. The woman refused to let the man in and drove off.
The robber was able to flag down another car and convinced that driver that he was being chased by some people who wanted to beat him up, said Rivera.
The two drove to about 5400 South and 1900 West where two Salt Lake County Sheriff's deputies spotted the vehicle, pulled it over and took the man into custody. Before they did, however, he swallowed a small package investigators believe contained either cocaine or heroin. Because the Salt Lake County Jail won't accept a prisoner in that condition, he was taken to the emergency room of a local hospital where he will be observed until the drugs take their course and then booked into jail, Rivera said.
Detectives believe the same man took the cash register from Panda Buffet, near 1000 West North Temple, Monday evening. A getaway car was waiting for the man in the parking lot in that incident.