Roy Rogers robbed by masked man CENTRAL -- Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

June 29, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

A gun-toting man wearing a nylon mask over his head robbed two employees of a Roy Rogers restaurant in Westminster as they were opening for business early yesterday, state police reported.

The employees of the restaurant, at Route 140 and Sullivan Road, were entering the store through the side entrance near the drive-through shortly before 5 a.m. when the robber pointed a dark-colored pistol at them and ordered them inside, police said.

The man forced the employees at gunpoint to open the restaurant safe, and he took an undisclosed amount of cash, said Tfc. Michael Cain, who is investigating the incident.

Frank Wankowski, the shift manager, said neither of the employees was injured and the restaurant was open for breakfast about 8:30 a.m.

"There is a bit of an emotional shake-up around here, but no one was physically hurt," said Mr. Wankowski.

"We just waited for the police to finish [finger] printing and things."

The armed robbery was the second at the restaurant in six months, Mr. Wankowski said. The first occurred on a Friday night just after closing.

"It seems to be that they get us either at closing or opening," Mr. Wankowski said.

Around 8 a.m., several people were milling around the empty parking lot. A sign on the drive-through order placard informed customers that the restaurant was temporarily closed.

Steve Haines, a plumber at All Phase in Westminster, said he had stopped by to get some breakfast and noticed that the usually-packed parking lot was nearly empty.

"That had to be planned out. Westminster is vulnerable," said Mr. Haines.

He explained that nearby roads such as Route 140 give criminals access to businesses and quick escape routes.

Shelley Sarsfield, owner of the Burger King restaurant in Crossroads Shopping Center at Route 140 and Route 97, who said she is a regular Roy Rogers breakfast customer, said the robbery made her fear for the safety of her own store.

"Oh, I just know we're going to be next," said Mrs. Sarsfield, whose 18-year-old son, John Lieberman, manages her franchise.

"Every bank has been hit up there where we are.

"I've got my 18-year-old son up there managing and I'm so worried that something will happen."

She said her son already has been robbed of $4,000 in restaurant receipts by a former employee who followed him out of the store after he had closed for the night.

Police described the robber of the Roy Rogers restaurant as a black man in his 20s, wearing a dark sweat shirt, dark pants and black tennis shoes.

Anyone with information may call Trooper Cain at 876-8989 or 848-3111.

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