BARSTOW — A Long beach transient was behind bars on suspicion of robbery after authorities arrested him in connection to robberies at Denny’s and Dollar General, authorities said.

Barstow police arrested Anthony Christopher Bowie, 25, on suspicion of robbery in the 900 block of East Main Street on Tuesday after investigating the robberies that occurred on Dec. 17 and 19.

Police received a report of a theft at Denny’s, located in the 1200 block of Main Street, at 5 a.m. on Dec. 19. Officers arrived and learned the crime was actually a robbery, police said.

Officer Joe Silva learned the victim was eating at the restaurant when a man, later identified as Bowie, approached him and took his cellphone from the table. Bowie then “demanded” money from the victim in exchange for the phone, police said.

“The suspect then displayed a firearm that he had in his waistband and threatened to shoot the victim if he did not pay him for the phone,” police said in a statement.

Bowie then fled the restaurant.

“A citizen entering the store heard the commotion regarding the stolen phone and went after the suspect as he fled,” police said. “The citizen was unaware that the suspect was armed with a handgun. The citizen contacted the suspect and convinced him to give back the phone for a sum of money. The citizen was able to retrieve the phone from the suspect and return it to the victim.”

Officers were unable to locate Bowie.

Det. Tom Lewis assumed the investigation, interviewed additional witnesses and reviewed the Denny’s surveillance footage and was able to identify Bowie as the suspect. Lewis also determined that Bowie matched the description of a robbery at Dollar General, located in the 300 block of West Main Street, on Dec. 17.

Police say Bowie stole two bluetooth speakers and attempted the flee the business. One of the store employees attempted to contact Bowie as he attempted to flee. Bowie then physically assaulted the employee and ran from the store. The incident was captured on the store’s surveillance footage. Lewis identified Bowie as the suspect after reviewing the Dollar General surveillance video and conducting additional witness interviews.

Bowie was finally found Tuesday and arrested at approximately 12:42 p.m. Lewis then met with the Dollar General employee and conducted an in-field show-up. The employee positively identified Bowie as the man who stole the speakers from the store and assaulted her.

Bowie was being held at the Barstow Sheriff’s Station Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned in a Victorville courtroom Thursday afternoon if criminally charged by prosecutors, booking records show.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Lewis at 760-255-5132 or the Barstow Police Department at 760-256-2211. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip hotline at 800-782-7436 or visit www.wetip.com.

Jose Quintero may be reached at 760-955-5332 or JQuintero@DesertDispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DP_JoseQ.