Armed bandits hit fast-food outlets 13 restaurants robbed in 2 weeks

November 06, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Fast food is making for some fast cash for a pair of increasingly confident armed bandits who police believe have hit more than a dozen Baltimore-area restaurants in the past two weeks.

"They started out almost polite," said Baltimore Police Sgt. Rick Barger, who is investigating the holdups of at least 13 fast-food restaurants since Oct. 25 in Baltimore and Baltimore County. "But now they're less discreet, more brazen."

Sergeant Barger said surveillance cameras captured the bandits on video. The same two men -- sometimes working solo -- are believed to be responsible for the holdups, he said.

Police say that no one has been injured in any of the armed holdups, the most recent of which occurred Thursday night at the Roy Rogers restaurant at Loch Raven Boulevard and Taylor Avenue in Towson.

The gunman pointed a weapon at a pregnant employee.

"I wasn't there, but I don't feel very good about it," said Pat Jakelski, a manager who was on duty at the store last night. "I can't believe someone would hold a gun to a pregnant woman."

The bandits enter the restaurants discreetly, often ordering an orange soda, some fries and an occasional burger, Sergeant Barger said.

When their order is ready, one of the pair takes out a small semiautomatic handgun and demands cash.

The bandits aren't getting away with a lot of money in each incident, usually less than $100 a hit, Sergeant Barger said. "These guys are small-time," the sergeant said. "They're hardly getting anything."

In a city long used to crime, employees at fast-food restaurants are taking precautions to limit the amount of money a robber can obtain.

Sheila Harrison, a manager at the Roy Rogers in the 500 block of W. 29th St., said she and her co-workers are keeping less cash in the registers and are becoming more aware of whoever walks through the door.

"I'm frightened. It's a nightmare," said Ms. Harrison, who was working last night at a Roy Rogers in the 2000 block of N. Howard St., which was robbed this week. "It's scary. You're just looking at everyone now."

Sergeant Barger said three of the holdups were in Baltimore County. Of the 10 in the city since Oct. 25, five were in the Northeastern District, three in the Northern, and two in the Southeastern.

The sergeant added that he had "some good information" about the bandits that could shorten his investigation.

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