Two Arden Hills fast-food robberies possibly linked to similar incidents

Police were dispatched to Arby’s in Arden Hills after it was robbed the evening of July 15, an incident police believe could be linked to similar holdups that have occurred recently.

Deputies arrived to the fast-food restaurant on the 3700 block of Lexington Avenue soon after employees reported the robbery — and an accompanying assault — around 9 p.m. 

According to the report, the robber struck a female employee in the face. 

The victim and a witness stated that the male suspect entered the shop, simply asking for four quarters in exchange for a $1 bill, but as soon as the employee opened the cash register drawer and put her hands on the money, the man punched her in the mouth, causing her to fall backwards and cash to fly out of the machine.

According to the report, the man grabbed a handful of bills — later estimated to be just under $100 — and ran out of the building. 

The employee suffered a dislocated shoulder and was transported to the hospital via ambulance for her injuries.

According to Randy Gustafson, spokesman for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, this is not necessarily an isolated incident.

In fact, he said, there has been a rash of similar robberies in recent weeks, mostly targeting fast-food restaurants. 

“So far the investigators have found 12 incidents that have similar methods and suspects since mid-May from throughout the metro area,” he said, adding that the incidents have occurred in Ramsey, Hennepin and Scott counties and that all respective law enforcement agencies are working together to investigate the string of robberies.

On June 13, just two days prior to the Arby’s incident, Papa John’s Pizza on the 3500 block of Lexington Avenue in Arden Hills was robbed in a similar fashion. 

Police received a call around 9:30 p.m. reporting that a man reached into the cash register, snatched about $50 and then fled the scene.

According to Gustafson, the suspects, as described in each incident, could be one in the same.



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