Armed man robs Atascadero Circle K, buries stolen cash

May 17, 2023


Photo by Richard Bastian


Police officers arrested a man who allegedly robbed Circle K in Atascadero Wednesday morning while armed with a handgun and then buried the stolen cash underground. 

At about 5:50 a.m., a female clerk working at the Circle K located at 6390 Morro Road reported the robbery to police. The clerk told officers that a man wearing a blonde curly wig showed her a gun concealed in his waistband and demanded all the money from the cash drawer, according to the Atascadero Police Department. 

The clerk complied and gave the robber cash. The man then threatened to shoot the clerk if she called the police.

After the robber fled the store, the clerk called 911 and provided a description of the suspect to officers. Investigators reviewed surveillance footage and then identified the suspect as 21-year-old Anthony Thomas of Atascadero. Police have had numerous prior contacts with Thomas.

Shortly afterwards, officers located Thomas and took him into custody. Thomas admitted to having committed the robbery, police said.

Officers recovered the stolen cash from a hole in the ground where Thomas had buried it.

Authorities booked Thomas in San Luis Obispo County Jail on charges of robbery, brandishing a firearm, criminal threats, committing a crime while out on bail and possession of a controlled substance. Thomas remains in custody, according to the SLO County Sheriff’s Office website. 

The Atascadero Police Department commends the Circle K clerk for her observation skills and ability to act under pressure and maintain composure. 

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

So why has this criminal been out on the street? Who’s responsible for letting him out?

Drug addicts, Booze addicts and Crime addicts are running loose everywhere, more than you could imagine. The streets are usually safe between 5 and 6 AM. As for government employees, they’re off on every holiday.