Lake Worth man, Bryan Perez, robs favorite taco shop, deputies say

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - The man was practically a regular when he walked into Tacos Al Carbon and ordered a taco dinner with a side of rice and beans.

He had visited the Lake Worth taco shop at least 10 times in recent weeks.

That's why the server who recognized his face and tear drop tattoos was so shocked when he pointed a gun through the drive-thru window and demanded all the money in the register.

According to the arrest repot, it was just before 9 p.m. Tuesday when the story unfolded:

The man, identified by deputies Bryan Perez, ordered a three-taco dinner, paid cash and walked back to his car, which was parked out front.

It was nothing unusual – until about 10 minutes later, when Perez got out of his car and walked toward the drive-thru window. There, he pointed the barrel of a small black gun in an employee's face and demanded the dough.

"I'm taking all the money," he said.

The woman at the window forked over $1,000 cash in mixed bills, and Perez ran back to his car and took off.

The woman described the robber to deputies as a 30-year-old man wearing a white T-shirt and blue shorts with one or two tear drop tattoos under his left eyes and several tattoos on his left arm. She had seen him before – about 10 times.

The woman's co-worker witnessed the robbery and described the robber's car "as a white, older model mid-sized car that appeared to be under repair," the report says. The bumper appeared to be gray, not the same color as the car body.

The next day, on Wednesday, a deputy pulled over a "multi-colored" 2005 Mitsubishi Gallant matching the description.

Deputies then arrested Perez and searched his pockets. He had $600 cash in his pocket.

Deputies later asked Perez's 31-year-old girlfriend – the mother of his three children – if they could search her car, which Perez had been driving.

They found a loaded .38 Special revolver matching the description of the weapon used in the robbery. There was also a plastic baggy containing two grams of cocaine tucked under the edge of the back seat, "easily withing arm's length of the driver," the report says.

The girlfriend then told deputies Perez had taken her car to get dinner at Tacos Al Carbon on Tuesday, when the robbery happened. She wondered what took so long.

"She stated that it should have only taken 5 to 10 minutes, however he didn't return for over 30 minutes," an officer wrote in the report.

Perez had been talking all week about "needing to do something" to pay bills, the girlfriend told deputies.

In an interview with deputies, Perez said he had just bought the cocaine, and that he had purchased the revolver on the streets a few days before the robbery.

"Perez told me he is an ex-Latin King gang member and carries the revolver for protection," an officer wrote in the report.

Perez, who has been arrested 11 times since 1999 with three felony convictions, remained in the Palm Beach County Jail Thursday in lieu of $100,000 bond.

Staff researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report

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