Former Cop Linked to Armored Car Thefts

Santa Rosa police put a former member of their department in handcuffs Monday night after investigators linked him to a string of armored car robberies

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP

    Santa Rosa police put a former member of their department in handcuffs Monday night after investigators linked him to a string of armored car robberies.

    Robert Stephen Starling is charged with four counts of armed robbery.  He worked for the Santa Rosa police department on two different occasions.  He was first hired back in 2000 and worked there for five months. He was rehired in 2003 where he worked as an officer until he quit voluntarily in 2006.

    Starling is one of two men police say is responsible for four robberies of armored cars in Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and Novato that took place between September 2007 to May of this year.

    Andrew Cooper Esslinger, from Santa Rosa, was also arrested Monday during a traffic stop. He is only charged in connection to robberies in Novato and Sebastopol.

    According to investigators, the total cash taken in the heists is more than $400,000.

    Santa Rosa police took the lead in the case and said they were able to zero in on the suspects thanks to cell phone records that linked them to the crimes.

    Each suspect is being held on one million dollars bail.

    Police are still looking for more information on the crimes and the suspects.  You can call 707-543-3590 if you have information.