UPDATE: 2 Chattanooga Waffle Houses hit by armed robber
By WRCB Staff
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
The search is on for a Waffle House robber who held cashiers and customers at gunpoint Wednesday morning.
Chattanooga Police said the suspect hit two locations overnight -- and got away.
The first armed robbery happened on Shallowford Road, near Highway 153, around 1:40 a.m. A couple hours later, the suspect struck again at the Waffle House on Lee Highway, about four miles away.
Police have released a suspect description. Investigators say a black male, about 6 feet tall with a medium build -- who was wearing dark clothes and a bandanna over his face -- demanded cashiers to empty the cash drawer and customers hand over their wallets.
Chattanooga Police Lt. Glenn Scruggs said they believe the robberies are connected and are trying to figure out if it was the same guy inside both stores.
"It is an easier target, because they can hop back on to the interstate real quick and get away," said Mike Patel, who manages a store on Lee Highway, just off the Bonny Oaks exit.
It's next to one of two Chattanooga Waffle Houses that were robbed early Wednesday morning.
Patel knows that working near main highways and interstates helps business, but he said it can also come with risk.
"Interstate properties are most likely to get robbed, more often than off-interstate properties maybe five or ten miles miles down the road," he said. "Easier target; easy in-and-out."
Police say the robber's M.O. was the same both times: walking in, pulling out a handgun, demanding money from the clerk, and taking the wallets of customers inside.
Detectives are reviewing surveillance from both restaurants.
"It makes them think twice," said Patel, whose store is equipped with multiple security cameras. "Not everybody. Some people, it does make them think twice."
But getting caught on camera didn't stop the Waffle House robber either time.
"I'm not terribly surprised in the world we live in," said Eddie Mosley, who just finished eating at the Waffle House on Shallowford Road -- where talk of the robbery continued over lunch.
"Just that it happened, and nobody was hurt," Mosley said.
"It's very disheartening thinking you're enjoying a breakfast or late dinner, and all of the sudden some guy comes in and demands your wallet. That would be very frightening," Scruggs said.
Nearby businesses are paying extra attention right now.
"You've got to make sure you keep your eye on the customer, don't turn your back," Patel said. "God knows what they're gonna do."
Anyone with information should call Chattanooga Police at (423) 698-2525.
UPDATE: Investigators have recovered surveillance video from both Waffle House locations.
Preliminary information shows that the suspect used the same MO in both robberies, taking wallets from customers in the restaurant and cash from the drawer of the cash register.
PREVIOUS STORY: Two Waffle House restaurants were robbed early Wednesday morning in Chattanooga.
Chattanooga police believe the two robberies may be connected.
The first robbery occurred at the Waffle House at 6007 Shallowford Road at about 1:40am, the second occurred at the 7705 Lee Highway location at about 4:00am.
In both robberies, the suspect brandished a weapon, demanded money and fled on foot during both robberies.
No one was injured during the course of either robbery.
Chattanooga Police Department is following up on multiple leads.
The suspect is described as a black male around 6 feet tall and medium build. He was wearing a black hoodie, jeans and a covering over his face.
Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding either robbery to call 423-698-2525.