HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – Exactly 3 months after a shooting injured two employees at a Subway restaurant in the Fort Lauderdale area another Subway restaurant — this one in Hollywood — was robbed Wednesday.
Both stores are owned by the same family and they are pleading with the public for help in solving each of the crimes.
In the latest incident, one of the owner’s, Mudassar Ismail, told CBS 4 News he received an urgent text message from one of his employees Wednesday morning.
“She said, ‘Hey, we’re getting robbed. Can you please call the police and help me out,’” Ismail said.
Ismail did and police soon learned that an armed gunman followed the employee into the back of the store, demanded she open the register and hand over cash.
Police say he got away with about a hundred bucks then locked the employee in the bathroom. The employee had her cellphone with her and quickly texted Ismail. She was unhurt.
The store has surveillance cameras all over and Ismail was able to log into a live feed of the surveillance video on his cellphone and watch the thief walk out of his store.
He said it was a disturbing sight knowing that just three months ago two of his cousins — employees at his Fort Lauderdale area Subway — were shot in an apparent robbery attempt there.
Surveillance video from the September 14th incident shows a man walking into the restaurant and pointing a gun at the two employees.
Broward Sheriff’s Office robbery detectives said the gunman asked for a $2 sandwich. When the workers told the robber they didn’t have $2 sandwiches, he demanded cash. Even though they complied and opened the register, BSO investigators said the gunman shot them for no apparent reason.
The suspect ran from the store without taking anything.
BSO said Sameer Farooq, 31, was shot in the torso. Fawaz Farid, 17, was hit in the leg. In shock, the surveillance video showed Farid getting up and going to the business next door for help.
Ismail said Farid is doing well but Farooq still cannot walk on his own.
“He got shot from the arm, the chest and back to the spinal cord,” Ismail said. “The bullet ricocheted inside the body.”
The guy who fired the shots and fled without taking any money is still on the loose.
Ismail says these incidents show that it’s difficult for business owners whose businesses deal largely in cash.
“The economy is going in a bad way but it’s just what can we do to stop (it)?” he said.
Ismail does not believe the incidents are connected.
He said he is trying to find solutions to keep his employees safe like working with the landlords at his restaurant locations to see if they can increase security in the shopping plazas where the restaurants are located.
He is also asking the community to help put the thief who robbed his store on Wednesday in jail.
“Luckily he didn’t hurt her or anything so I don’t want him to hurt anyone else on the street,” Ismail said. “He robbed this store he probably doing it somewhere else too. Money can be replaceable; not a life.”
Ismail also wants the man who shot his cousins back in September locked up. If you can help police solve either of these crimes call Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.