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Cottonwood Police use social media to track woman in Taco Bell robbery

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A man and woman who were involved in a Cottonwood Taco Bell robbery that occurred Sunday, Jan. 21 are now in custody, according to Cottonwood Police.
 
Cottonwood detectives located and arrested 36-year-old Tia Stevens on Wednesday, Jan. 24, thanks to a Cottonwood dispatcher’s use of social media, said Cottonwood Police Sgt. Monica Kuhlt.
 
 
“Smartphones have become an appendage for the majority of the population and much of that populous document their daily lives for the world to see,” she said.
 
The dispatcher was able to locate Stevens’ address and she was arrested without incident, Kuhlt said.
 
Stevens was booked into the Yavapai County Detention Center on armed robbery, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault charges, police said.
 
Police also found additional evidence, Kuhlt said.
 
“The detectives located the truck used in the robbery, the pellet gun and clothing worn,” she said.
 
Earlier that week, Police arrested 18-year-old Zion Plotnikoff 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.
 
Shortly after 11 p.m. on Jan. 21, Plotnikoff rolled to the Taco Bell drive-thru window and when the employee tried to hand over their food, Stevens sprayed pepper spray at the employee’s face as Plotnikoff crawled across the driver’s side and through the drive-thru window, Kuhlt said.
 
“[Plotnikoff] struck the victim several times on their head with the butt of his [pellet] gun,” Kuhlt stated in a media release. “He was unable to get any money and then fled back out the same window before the [Stevens] drove off.”
 
Kelcie Grega can be reached at kgrega@larsonnewspapers.com

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