Police hunting for serial fast food robber [PHOTO]
Stills of the suspect in action at BK this morning (left); his vehicle (right).
Maple Grove police
Law enforcement is on the hunt for a man who has been terrorizing Twin Cities fast food restaurants by forcing employees into freezers before robbing the establishments.
The most recent incident happened early this morning at a Burger King near I-94 in Maple Grove. Police believe the man responsible for that robbery is the same guy who's robbed six restaurants and retail outlets along the I-94 corridor between the Twin Cities and St. Cloud in recent months.
KARE details this morning's incident:
Maple Grove Police Captain Keith Terlinden says they received a call reporting an armed robbery at the Burger King at 13840 Grove Drive around 6:12 a.m.
The suspect, described as a white male in his 30s or 40s, entered the restaurant carrying a handgun, demanded money, and then locked the two employees in the walk-in cooler. He calmly exited the restaurant, then hopped in a dark Dodge Durango, possibly a 2005, and drove off.
And the Star Tribune backgrounds the other robberies authorities believe the lone gunman was responsible for:
[L]aw enforcement believes the man is also responsible for five other armed stickups in the past month or so along I-94 between St. Cloud and the Twin Cities. Two others involved Burger Kings, in Clearwater and Monticello, and occurred just hours apart on Sept. 19. The other crimes have occurred in Big Lake, St. Cloud and another in Monticello.
When not hitting Burger Kings, [police] said, the gunman is targeting small restaurants and retail outlets.
The tactics used in this morning's robbery are also similar to those used in the robbery of a Plymouth McDonald's last month, though police said three suspects were responsible for that heist.
Today's incident was the first where images of the robber were captured on surveillance footage. You can see stills at the top of this post.
While the suspect has consistently remained calm during the half dozen-or-so robberies police have linked him to, Maple Grove police captain Keith Terlinden told the Strib, "we're concerned about what he's capable of doing bringing a handgun to a robbery."
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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