Gunman makes away with $1,250 from restaurant

by Robert Koch

A man armed with a handgun made off with $1,250 in cash from the Arby’s/Sbarro Restaurant in Stadium Village on May 14 after holding the restaurant’s assistant manager at gunpoint.
The suspect entered the restaurant at 1016 Washington Ave S.E. at 10 p.m., taking the money and leading Mindi Erickson out of the building at gunpoint, according to the police report.
Neither Erickson, who would not comment on the incident, nor anyone else was injured during the robbery that occurred shortly after the restaurant had closed for business.
Minneapolis police said the suspect was a 5-foot-6 black male with a muscular build. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt that partially concealed his face and carried a large-caliber, possibly semi-automatic handgun.
Allyn Mishek, a University computer science sophomore, was one of several employees working at the time.
Mishek said he was carrying a bucket of ice toward the front of the restaurant to stock a beverage station. When he passed through a hallway near the assistant manager’s desk, he suddenly saw the gunman from behind.
“I saw the guy holding the gun to (Erickson),” Mishek said.”I saw the chrome and set the ice down.”
The gunman told Erickson, “Put the money in the bag, bitch,” Mishek said.
After setting down the ice, Mishek continued toward the front of the restaurant, where he warned his coworkers of the danger.
Mishek said he was able to pass by the gunman only because he had taken an alternate route to carry out the ice. His usual path would have taken him directly in front of the manager’s desk — perhaps startling the gunman as he held the weapon to Erickson.
The robbery lasted a minute, according to the police report. Mishek said he and his co-workers knew it was over when they heard Erickson talking on the telephone.
The suspect reportedly entered the building through an employee entrance that was temporarily unlocked for workers to take out the trash.
“We’d appreciate businesses to follow their policies and procedures in regard to securing doors,” said Minneapolis police Sgt. P. Bottema, who arrived at the scene.
Doug Kennedy, vice president of administration for Arby’s, confirmed that the robbery occurred after hours and added that it was the first serious incident in about five years.
“The number-one priority is the safety of our people,” Kennedy said. “No one was hurt. We’re very grateful for that.”
Minneapolis police reported two incidents at the restaurant in the days preceding the holdup. A suspicious man was seen in the area on May 12. And at 2:43 a.m. on the morning of the holdup, the restaurant’s alarm sounded.
After Sunday’s holdup, investigators from the Minneapolis Police Department’s Identification Division arrived at the scene to take photographs and to check for fingerprints.
The case is currently under investigation.

Robert Koch covers police and courts and welcomes comments at [email protected].