Police were searching for a man who was caught on camera allegedly robbing a cashier at gunpoint in a Brazilian restaurant as patrons ate their food Friday night, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
The restaurant manager at Bossa Nova, a popular restaurant in West Los Angeles on Pico Boulevard, said he was caught off guard because the restaurant was almost at capacity when the robbery occurred.
Just after 10 p.m., a man walked through the front door and demanded employees hand over cash, the LAPD said.
After a cashier emptied the register, the man fled the restaurant.
Local news from across Southern California
The manager said that luckily, many customers paid with credit card, so the accused thief didn't get away with much.
No one was injured in the incident.
Ivan Budai, the owner of Mattress Town next door to the restaurant, said he's not surprised.
"My reaction is I think everybody has to have a gun," Budai, 73, said.
He said that 35 years ago, two men came into his store to rob him.
"I had the gun in my hand and I told them, 'it's either me or you,'" Budai said.
The men never came back, Budai said.
"This is our country, so we have to stand up for ourselves," Budai said.