Crime & Courts

Restaurant robberies could be work of same man, police say

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Wichita police are investigating whether the same man pulled off two restaurant robberies that happened an hour apart on Tuesday night.

Employees of the Five Guys Burgers near Douglas and Washington and the Taco Grande at 2255 S. Seneca described their assailants similarly. He was a black man in his 30s with a handgun wearing a dark-blue hooded sweatshirt, black pants, gloves and a mask.

In both robberies, employees were involved in clean-up duties when they were approached and ordered to turn over cash, Wichita police Officer Charley Davidson said Wednesday.

The Taco Grande robber, who struck at about 9:45 p.m. while a 17-year-old employee and others were inside the restaurant, got away with $500, according to police records. He ran away afterward.

The Five Guys robber took $6 in cash, plus a blue Victoria’s Secret purse worth around $20 and a brown Coach purse valued at $250 from two women working in the store, records show.

Davidson said a 27-year-old Five Guys employee told police he was taking trash out behind the restaurant shortly after 10:45 p.m. when the robber approached, pointed a gun at him, went inside and then stole the money and women’s bags.

He also fled on foot afterward.

Police are asking anyone with information about the robberies to contact Wichita-Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111. Crime Stoppers tips are anonymous and can also be left at www.wichitasedgwickcountycrimestoppers.com or through the P3 Tips mobile application.

No one was harmed in either robbery, Davidson said.

Davidson suggested businesses and their employees be on the lookout for suspicious people or vehicles while they work, go in pairs outside and make sure their exteriors are well lit to help avoid attacks.

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker

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