Police: Hickory robber becoming more desperate by hitting open restaurants

by: Dave Faherty Updated:


HICKORY, N.C. - Police said they believe the robber is becoming more desperate, hitting restaurants that are either still open or have several workers inside.

"He put the gun right in my face," said restaurant owner Angel Sanchez.

Sanchez showed Eyewitness News the surveillance video of the gunman as he calmly walks in through the back door of the Pancho Villa restaurant and toward the front of the business.

"I'm in a daze right now because he had a gun, that's the scary part," said employee Ashley Baker.

Baker is still shaken by the ordeal.

Police believe the same person is responsible for six restaurant robberies in Hickory during the last month, all of them happening right around closing time.

Investigators said the robber most likely was spooked by the number of employees at the Mexican restaurant and ran out of the business before getting any money.

Four hours later, they say he can be seen on other surveillance cameras robbing a Waffle House around 2 a.m.

Police said he is wearing a different jacket but his pants and shoes are the same.

Baker hopes he is caught before someone gets hurt.

"It's ridiculous. Go get a job. Do something, I mean it is hard for the hardworking citizens of Hickory who come to work every day. It is sad someone has to go to those levels to do something like this," said Baker.

Police said they now have several investigators working this case, which has become a top priority for the department.

They are encouraging businesses to exercise caution at closing time and say they are stepping up patrols around the restaurants.