A Corona man accused of carrying out two armed robberies in western Riverside County, possibly with a replica AR-style semi-automatic rifle, was behind bars Monday in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Santiago Lopez Hernandez, 38, was arrested and booked Friday into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of robbery and possessing metal knuckles, both felonies, and misdemeanor brandishing a firearm.

Deputies were initially sent to the 3900 block of Ash Street in Lake Elsinore about 1 p.m. on a report of an armed robbery, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Sgt. Veronica Amparano said two victims reported they were approached by a man driving a pickup truck, who pointed a rifle at them and stole their phones and wallets before driving off.

About five minutes later, another victim reported an armed robbery involving a similar scenario in an unincorporated area near Temescal Canyon Road and Indian Truck Trail near Corona, she said.

In the hour that followed, two “brandishing of a rifle” calls came in from separate areas of Temescal Canyon Road, Amparano said.

Deputies responded and pulled over a pickup truck in the area driven by Hernandez. Inside the vehicle, deputies located a “replica rifle” and items reported stolen earlier in the day and arrested the driver, Amparano said.

Hernandez has an active bench warrant out for his arrest involving a separate misdemeanor driving with a suspended case from last October, court records show. He has no documented felony convictions in Riverside County.

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