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Robbers target McDonald's

July 5, 2009 3:55:25 PM PDT
Philadelphia police are looking for a band of robbers who have been targeting area McDonald's restaurants.Video shows masked gunmen brutally terrorizing McDonald's employees in the wee hours of the morning on June 4 after the inside dining room has been closed. One suspect got in through the drive-thru window, the only open entrance at that hour.

"The first indication that there is trouble is a male will come through the drive-thru window, holding the employees point of gun, and he'll open the doors and let his friends in," Captain Len Ditchofsky of the Philadelphia Police said.

Police say this mode of operation has become standard with this robbery gang; sometimes the gang includes as many as four men, wearing hoodies and ski masks, all wearing plastic gloves, brandishing handguns or wielding a baseball bat. At times, they've gone for the safe as well as the cash registers, as they bound workers with plastic restraints or pushed them into the freezer.

Police say this pattern fits three robberies in Philadelphia; the aforementioned one on Torresdale Avenue on June 4th, and two others within 90 minutes of each other in the 2200 block of Lehigh Avenue and the 3600 block of Aramingo Avenue on June 22.

Now, police believe two members of this unit pulled off another robbery in Limerick on June 25th. The police in Philadelphia and in Montgomery County are getting increasingly nervous.

"It's only a matter of time before this escalates into further violence," Ditchofsky said.

Police are warning fast food employees across the area, especially overnight, to be on high alert.

"Just keep an eye on that drive-thru window and if you can, keep it locked," Ditchofsky said.

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