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One suspect caught in Taco Bell robbery, one still at large

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An 18-year-old Cottonwood man was arrested last night on armed robbery and aggravated assault charges following a robbery that occurred at the Taco Bell on the 2000 block of E. State Route 89A Sunday night, according to Cottonwood Police. Another female suspect is still at large. 
 
No money was taken but an employee was seriously injured and had to be treated at the hospital, said Cottonwood Police Sgt. Monica Kuhlt. 
 
 
Shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday, Zion Eliaz Plotnikoff rolled to the drive-thru window and as the employee tried to hand over their food, the female driver, Tia Stevens sprayed pepper spray at the employee’s face as Plotnikoff crawled across the driver side and through the drive-thru window, Kuhlt said.

"[Plotnikoff] struck the victim several times on their head with the butt of his gun,” Kuhlt stated in a media release. "He was unable to get any money and then fled back out the same window before [Stevens] drove off."
 
An officer located the vehicle, a white 1989 Chevrolet pickup truck, on SR 89A and 12th Street, according to police. The truck drove off into desert terrain between Clarkdale and Cottonwood that officers could not reach, said police.
 
Last night Plotnikoff was arrested at a Cottonwood hotel without incident, according to police. 
 
"He was booked into the Yavapai County Detention Center for armed robbery, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault,"  Kuhlt said. 

Police are still following up on leads on Stevens. She is described as being white, 36 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 185 pounds. She has brown eyes and blonde hair but her hair color and style may be different since the robbery, according to police. 
 
Police are asking anyone with information to call Cottonwood PD at 928-649-1397 or Silent Witness at 800-932-3232.
 
Correction: An earlier version of this story listed the wrong age for Tia Stevens. This version has been updated with the correct information. 
 
Kelcie Grega can be reached at kgrega@larsonnewspapers.com

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