Gunman holds up Burger King in NE Philly

July 12, 2009 10:26:25 AM PDT
Sunday morning's hold up is the latest in a string of recent robberies that target fast food restaurants. It is not clear if the robberies have been committed by the same circle of people, but it is clear that they use the same methods to get in. It was just before 5:00 a.m. when the Burger King on Cottman Avenue near Summerdale was hit by an armed robber.

The gunman entered the fast food restaurant through the drive through window brandishing a shotgun. Police say he demanded money but did not hurt any employees before fleeing.

Investigators have not yet indicated whether this incident is linked to a string of fast food robberies where the culprits enter the drive thru windows.

During a robbery at a McDonald's restaurant in Port Richmond last month the gunmen forced employees to the ground, stomped and bound one, locked another worker in a freezer and raided the safe.

Like in a 1/2 dozen similar robberies during the last 3 months the drive thru window was the initial point of entry.

Police believe these guys are part of drive thru robbery ring, robbing a 1/2 dozen fast food restaurants in Philadelphia and Montgomery County. Until the most recent incident they all involved McDonald's and at least two suspects.

Philadelphia Police Capt. Len Ditchofsky explains, "In all these robberies, the first indication there is trouble, a male will come through the drive thru window, hold the employees at point of gun and let his friends in."

Those drive thru robbers wore hoodies, ski masks and plastic gloves. They carried guns, bats and targeted the register and sometimes the safe. Last week police nabbed two men they believe to be part of the ring, but remained on alert regarding the potential for continued drive thru robberies.

"What I would say to all those folks at the McDonald's, the Wendy's, those places, keep an eye on that window and if it's possible to lock it," said Captain Ditchofsky.

It is possible Sunday's robbery was caught on surveillance tape. There is a camera posted at the drive thru window.

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