HESPERIA Two Hesperia men are behind bars after they reportedly robbed the Smart & Final at gunpoint Tuesday evening, San Bernardino County Sheriff's Hesperia station officials said. One of the men's wives was also arrested when she threatened to kill a potential witness.


Moses Gonzalez, 23, and Francisco Rodriguez, 21, were arrested early Wednesday morning for robbery, according to sheriff's arrest reports. Rodriguez was also booked for participation in a criminal street gang.


Rodriguez's wife, 20-year-old Bettina Rodriguez, also was arrested early Wednesday for making terrorist threats and dissuading a witness when she assaulted and threatened to kill Gonzalez's wife if she testifies against Francisco Rodriguez, authorities said.


A little before 6 p.m., an armed man wearing a mask and black clothing ran into the Smart & Final on Bear Valley Road, according to Sgt. Linzy Savage. The masked man then demanded money from an employee. The employee complied and the robber, later identified as Rodriguez, ran out and jumped into a waiting van, Savage said.


Investigators were unable to immediately locate Rodriguez or the van. It was found that Gonzalez was the get-away driver during the robbery.


The Hesperia station's SMASH Gang Team took over the investigation and were able to gather information identifying the van used in the crime, Savage said.


SMASH team members tracked the vehicle to a home in the 11900 block of Sixth Avenue, officials said. After conducting interviews, Gonzalez and Rodriguez were arrested. The two men were neighbors.


After the men were arrested, deputies received a call stating a woman, Gonzalez's wife, had just been assaulted by a neighbor, later identified as Bettina Rodriguez, Savage said. Officials learned the suspect had gone to the victim's home, attacked and threatened her if the victim implicated Francisco Rodriguez in the armed robbery.


Bettina Rodriguez was booked into West Valley Detention Center.


Investigators are looking into whether or not Francisco Rodriguez or Gonzalez have any ties to the recent string of armed robberies in the Victor Valley.


Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hesperia station at (760) 947-1500 or call WeTip at (800) 78-CRIME.


Beatriz E. Valenzuela may be reached at (760) 951-6276 or at BValenzuela@VVDailyPress.com.