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Robbers hold IHOP employees hostage

BY: Kimberly Snickles, Cheektowaga Source | December 05, 2012

It was an alarming day for IHOP employees and customers Sunday evening when two males entered the restaurant with weapons, threatened their lives, and demanded cash from the safe.

“Two guys walked in around 9:30 p.m. and said we want your money,” said Cheektowaga Police Captain Jim Speyer. “So they took them to the back part where the safe is and apparently the safe is an office.”

According to police, no one in IHOP, 50 Thruway Plaza Drive, knew the combination to the safe and an employee proceeded to call the regional manager to get the code. Luckily, the manager heard a male’s voice over the phone saying he was going to take the female. The regional manager then hung up and called 911 to report the robbery.

When the robbers stepped out of the office for a moment, the employees were able to close the door shut and lock it. Cheektowaga Police secured the corner of the building, as other officers secured the perimeter. Speyer added that it was quick thinking on the employee’s part that ensured their safety.

While in the office, the employees were able to get in touch with police dispatch, and stated that one of the robbers had a knife and the other displayed a gun; they also believed that the suspects were still in the restaurant, along with two customers and a friend of an employee. Since the office contained a door to the outside, the victims were brought out one at a time and escorted to patrol vehicles for safety.

“As soon as we are sure any innocent victims are out and safe, then we can go in,” said Speyer.

When the SWAT team searched the restaurant, the robbers were nowhere to be found. They did take some money but the amount is not known at this time.

According to a police description, the robbers were two black males; one about 6 feet tall, armed with a handgun, wearing a scarf over his face to conceal his identity and the other about 5 feet 4 inches, wearing a grey hoodie and carrying a knife. If anyone has any information about the whereabouts of these robbers, they are asked to call the Cheektowaga Police Department at 686-3500.

“We will be collecting evidence, analyzing evidence,” said Speyer. “See if we can get video from different businesses in the area.”

IHOP closed its doors the following day and reopened on Tuesday.

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