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Man held in Sonic Drive-In shooting had been accused of using someone else's app to order food

Man held in Sonic Drive-In shooting had been accused of using someone else's app to order food


Days before a deadly shooting at a Sonic Drive-In in Bellevue, the man jailed in the killings was arrested after workers at the restaurant reported that someone had charged $57 to another person’s Sonic app.

Roberto C. Silva, 23, of Omaha, was arrested late Wednesday on suspicion of identity theft/less than $500.


Roberto C. Silva

Saturday night, Silva was arrested in connection with the shooting of four people at the same Sonic, at 1307 Cornhusker Road. Two people were declared dead at the scene and two others were taken to the hospital. In addition, a U-Haul in the Sonic parking lot had been set on fire.

Silva was booked into the Sarpy County Jail just after 4:30 a.m. Sunday on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree arson.

Sunday night, Bellevue police played a video of Silva being arrested. He is shown lying facedown in the Sonic parking lot. An officer told him that he was going to be handcuffed and Silva put his hands behind his back.

In the Wednesday night case, a police officer said in an arrest affidavit that she had been sent to the Sonic on Cornhusker Road after a 41-year-old man called the store to report fraudulent activity. Store employees said someone using the name “Mike” had ordered food using the man’s app. They used transaction information to identify the car the person who had used the app was driving.

When officers arrived, the affidavit says, they saw a Toyota Corolla leaving the area, and the license plate matched the description given to dispatchers. They talked to Silva, the driver, who said he had purchased food at Sonic using the app.

When officers asked if they could see the app on his phone, the affidavit says, Silva displayed the home screen and the name on the app, which wasn’t his name.

Sonic workers were able to connect transactions made through the app to the account and to identify the car the person had used. They also provided officers with several receipts detailing the transactions.

roberto silva.jpg (copy)

Roberto Carlos Silva after his arrest on suspicion of identity theft.

Silva told police that he recently had loaded several gift cards onto his Sonic app. He claimed that earlier in the evening he had received an email notifying him that his Sonic account had been updated. He said he logged onto his account and found that the name on the account had been changed and that the gift cards on the account had been used for four transactions. All the orders had been placed Wednesday night at the Sonic:

  • An order for a Queso Burger and four quarter-pound hamburgers. The total bill, plus tax and tip: $17.
  • An order for six quarter-pound double burgers. The total, plus tax and tip: $20.
  • An order for six corn dogs. The total bill, plus tax and tip: $10.
  • Another order for six corn dogs. The total, plus tax and tip: $10.

The transactions matched those on the receipts provided by Sonic, the affidavit says.

Silva showed officers screenshots of the emails he received, along with the details of each transaction. He provided a screenshot of the account information. The email address displayed below the name was that of the 41-year-old who reported the fraudulent activity.

Silva was released from the Sarpy County Jail on Thursday after posting 10% of a $1,500 bail, or $150. He was ordered to appear in Sarpy County Court on Jan. 6 on the identity theft charge.

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Bob Glissmann helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow him on Twitter @BobGlissmann. Phone: 402-444-1109.

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