MIAMI (CBS4) – Three fast food restaurants were robbed in almost as many days, now police are trying to determine if they are somehow connected.
On Sunday, employees of a Taco Bell in North Miami Beach were robbed at gunpoint by two individuals just before 1 a.m. The duo got away with $450 from the restaurants safe and registers, but dropped about $15 of the loot in the lobby and parking lot as they left.
Early Wednesday, two McDonald’s restaurants were robbed; one in Little Havana at 1016 West Flager Street, the other in Coconut Grove at 3200 South Dixie Highway.
“One came in the front and said ‘get down, get down’,” said a man who was in the Coconut Grove restaurant when two individuals who were wearing masks came in with their guns drawn.
The man, who did wish to be identified in this report, said one of the robbers pointed a gun in his direction.
“He was like ‘You stay’ pointing it at me. They came in and took cell phones and computers. It took 20-25 seconds (whistles) and they were gone,” said the man.
A couple of hours later, a person with a gun smashed a front door of the Little Havana restaurant open with a rock. He really didn’t need to however since the door next to it was open. Two others then entered the restaurant and gathered all the employees at gunpoint.
“They smashed the window, we thought it was with a gun but it was with a rock. They went in with guns drawn, they ordered every one to the floor,” said Michael Quintana.
Quintana said he and his brother David did as they were told.
“They had masks and guns and they were all covered in black,” said David Quintana. “They took my iPhone and my laptop too.”
The Quintanas said the armed robbers then took money from the registers and took off.
The trio left in a dark colored Cadillac, which was spotted moments later by a police officer driving erratically. The officer pulled the car over and recognized that three people inside matched the description of a robbery subjects.
Taken into custody were 20-year old Alex Westbrook, 19-year old Leon Westbrook and 19-year old Eddie Lee Thomasiv.
Police reportedly found wads of cash in the car.
Police have not said if the trio was linked to the other robberies.
The operations manager of the Little Havana McDonalds released a statement saying customer and employee safety are a top priority and that they are fully cooperating with police on their investigation.