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Arrested man had a role in 'Musical'

Dutch Elijah Whitlock
Dutch Elijah Whitlock

HOLLADAY — Employees at Five Buck Pizza had no problem providing a good description of a man who they say robbed them at gunpoint Thursday night.

"One of the employees recognized the robber and called him by name. The man was a former employee of the restaurant," said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak.

If that didn't already make the man fairly easy to recognize, investigators say it probably didn't help his cause that he also had a small part in one of the most popular TV movies of all time and became a local fixture in an anti-tobacco ad.

Dutch Whitlock, who is credited as "Skater #1" in "High School Musical," was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated robbery. Whitlock is also known in Utah for his role in the Svarnik and Byll anti-smoking ads put out by the Tobacco Prevention and Control group. Whitlock portrayed Svarnik, one-half of the geeky Warriors Against Tobacco duo.

Investigators say Whitlock and another man entered the business, near 1800 East, shortly after 9 p.m., brandished a black revolver and demanded cash. The two wore bandanas over their faces, but it wasn't enough to hide the identity of one of the men, Jaroscak said.

The two fled after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash. Deputies were called and while they were tracking down the man, he called the sheriff's office and surrendered.

The search for the second man continued Friday afternoon.