A masked armed robber has terrorized fast-food restaurant employees in the last month along the Interstate 94 corridor between the Twin Cities and St. Cloud, including holdups at three Burger King restaurants in Monticello, Clearwater and Maple Grove, investigators say.
Maple Grove police got a call about the latest robbery just after 6 a.m. Wednesday.
A suspect described as a white man in his 30s or 40s went into the restaurant with a handgun, demanded cash and then locked workers in a walk-in cooler, KARE 11 reports. The robber took the workers' cell phones, FOX 9 reported.
The robber then sped off in a dark Dodge Durango, witnesses said. The description of the vehicle, possibly a 2005 model, is considered a key clue that was not available in the other robberies, the Star Tribune reports.
The same robber is suspected in six total holdups, including two in Sauk Rapids and one in Big Lake, FOX 9 reports. Other targets were described as fast-food chain outlets and a GameStop location, FOX 9 reported.
The robber's demeanor was calm and he always has a gun, WCCO reports.
The robber wears a black ski mask with eye holes and a white marking on the mask. He also wore blue jeans, dark gray sweatshirt and dark gray shoes.
Investigators say the robber seems to be getting more comfortable. "Historically you look back and see robberies become homicides. We don't want that," Maple Grove Police Captain Keith Terlinden told KARE.