Authorities allege that didn't stop 34-year-old Donald Dejarnette from using some of the cash last week to pay for - of all things - a court fine.
Kern County sheriff's Sgt. Tyson Davis said a clerk immediately recognized the bills. Some even had "Homestead" written on them.
Dejarnette and four others have been arrested on suspicion of taking $8,000 from the restaurant. About $1,000 has been recovered.
The sheriff's department Tuesday didn't know whether any of the suspects has hired an attorney.