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A Chevy Chase man will serve 15 years in prison for robbing a Denny’s in Fairfax County, Va., last year.

Last month, Colin Thomas Bowie, 46, of Jones Mill Road, was sentenced to 30 years, half of it suspended, for the crime, which took place on Jan. 1, 2012.

City of Fairfax Police Detective Michael Boone said Bowie entered the restaurant, which is on Fairfax Boulevard, at around 6:10 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Bowie pretended he was a plainclothes detective and spoke with the manager and several employees, then asked the manager to step into bathroom to show him something, Boone said.

In the bathroom, Bowie threatened the manager with a handgun and made him take him into the restaurant’s back office. In the office, he forced the manager to open the restaurant’s safe, took nearly $4,000 that was inside, and ran out the back door.

“We got some information from an informant which led us to him,” Boone told The Gazette.

Bowie was charged with abduction, armed robbery, using a firearm in the commission of a felony, and impersonating a law enforcement officer, Boone said.

Bowie pleaded guilty to robbery, according to his sentencing order, which stated he had parole violations for crimes in Stafford County and the city of Fredericksburg, Va. In Maryland, he faces parole violations for an armed robbery charge that took place in 2000.

Bowie was taken into custody in Takoma Park after police received a call about men selling stereo systems out of the back of a truck, Boone said.

Bowie was detained after an investigating officer saw the butt of a handgun sticking out of the driver’s seat. Officers arrested Bowie after also finding drugs in the car, Boone said.

Fairfax police learned he had been arrested while his car was still impounded by Takoma Park police, Boone said.

Boone said Fairfax police, working with Takoma Park police, arrested Bowie when he returned to Takoma Park police headquarters to retrieve some items from his truck.

sjbsmith@gazette.net