In addition to being wanted in connection with the robbery, the vehicle was tagged stolen and the person who is accused of swiping it is accused of assault with a deadly weapon.
When Pennington noted the situation, he called for back-up.
While waiting for backup to arrive, Pennington tailed the sport-utility vehicle as it took a roundabout tour of Imperial, even driving past Imperial High School on West Barioni.
Eventually, the vehicle was driven along side streets before stopping at the Circle K, but its occupants apparently didn't stop to pick up some beef jerky.
The SUV's passengers entered the store to "use the bathroom," according to Lemon.
While they were inside, more than 10 patrol cars swooped into the store parking lot to secure the perimeter.
Lemon said four Sheriff's Office units, four California Highway Patrol vehicles, two El Centro Police Department units and one Imperial police car were involved.
With a phalanx of officers backing them up, Lemon said officers entered the store, ordered the three out of the bathroom and arrested them.
They weren't arrested for the Riverside incidents, Lemon noted, but Riverside County investigators are expected to arrive in Imperial County to handle that part of the investigation.
The Riverside investigators working on the case won't be back until Monday.
>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or email@example.com