Crime & Courts

Employees at northwest McDonald's locked in refrigerator during robbery

Two employees were locked in a walk-in refrigerator at a McDonald's during a robbery in northwest Wichita early Monday morning, police said.

Fortunately for them, another employee was arriving for work just as the robber was fleeing the restaurant at 7311 W. 21st St., near Ridge Road and 21st Street, Lt. Doug Nolte said.

The robbery occurred at 4 a.m., when the suspect came into a back door that had been left unlocked and confronted the two employees inside. He indicated he had a gun, though the victims did not see it.

The store's safe happened to be open when the robber came in, Nolte said. The robber took items from the safe, ordered the two into a walk-in refrigerator and padlocked the door behind them.

As he was running from the store, another employee arrived. The third employee was able to free the two.

It's not clear how soon the victims would have been in danger had they remained locked in the refrigerator for an extended period, Nolte said.

"That's not a good scenario," he said.

Police do not have a detailed description of the suspect.

The restaurant's lobby isn't open to the public at 4 a.m., Nolte said.

Police are looking into the possibility that an employee may be involved in the robbery, he said.