UPDATE 5/1/14 @ 5:55 p.m.
PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) – Workers at a fast food restaurant were forced down on the floor as a man in a ski mask robbed the place with a gun – and the whole thing was caught on surveillance camera.
Police in Portsmouth, Ohio received a call at 2 a.m. Thursday from workers at McDonald’s on Gallia Street, saying they had been robbed at gunpoint.
“As three employees took the garbage out at the end of their shift, somebody laying in hiding back around the fence line followed them to the open door as they went back in,” Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said.
In the video, the robber, dressed in black clothing and wearing a multi-colored ski mask, holds a handgun in his right hand and forces a manager to open a safe.
The manager struggles with the safe combination, his hands shaking and his breathing heavy, while the robber goes back and forth between two rooms.
At one point, the robber places the gun down, in order to grab a tray of cash.
“He has employees on the floor in both rooms, so obviously he's watching to make sure no one's going to try to run and get help or that no one else comes in,” Ware said.
Police are asking for help in identifying the man seen in the surveillance video.
“The way they walk, the way they stand, their build – all those things can be very familiar to an individual that knows somebody well,” Ware said.
Ware said if you’re in a situation like this one, give robbers what they want in order to keep yourself out of harm’s way.
WSAZ.com reached out to McDonald’s to see if any workers involved would talk to us about what happened, but the managers directed WSAZ.com to contact the corporate spokesperson, who said the company is cooperating with police and is thankful no workers were hurt.
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.
The robbery happened about 2 a.m. at the restaurant in the 2600 block of Gallia Street.
Police say the man entered the restaurant, showed a gun, and forced the manager to open the safe. Several employees were also in the restaurant at the time of the robbery.
The suspect had a ski mask on.
You can see in the video that he makes the three employees get down on the ground then makes the manager open the safe and fill a bag with money.
Police say he was last seen running from the restaurant heading west.
No word how much money he got away with.
Bruce Parsley, Owner/Operator of the restaurant, released the following statement Thursday: "An armed robbery took place at the McDonald's on Gallia Street in Portsmouth early this morning. We are fully cooperating with local law enforcement on the investigation of this incident. The safety of our crew and customers is of utmost importance, and we are thankful no one was injured."
If you have any information, call Portsmouth Police.
Police tell WSAZ.com the suspect entered the restaurant through a rear door and forced to the manager to open the safe. He then fled the store with an undetermined amount of money.
Detective Andres Dawes says the man was armed with a handgun and wearing dark clothing including a ski mask.
The robbery was reported about 2 a.m.
Investigators say they have a pretty good picture of the suspect from surveillance video.
The restaurant is located in the 2600 block of Gallia Street.