A man got away with cash in a takeover-style robbery Wednesday at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant, in which employees were herded into a walk-in freezer.
As employees opened the eatery at 3440 E. Chapman Ave. about 8 a.m., the robber walked in and demanded cash at gunpoint, according to Orange Police Department Lt. Fred Lopez.
The restaurant doesn't open to the public until 10:30 a.m., but employees come in early to prepare for the day.
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"He was probably scouting us out the whole time," said an employee, who didn't want to be identified.
The employees handed over an undisclosed amount of cash before the robber herded them into the freezer, Lopez said. The employees managed to get out and were unhurt, he said.
"He was probably scouting us out the whole time," the employee said. He said had he showed up to his morning shift on time, he thinks he would have been held up with his co-workers.
"They thought they were going to get killed," he said. "They thought they were going to die."
Video surveillance video showed the suspect walking west on Chapman Avenue following the robbery, Lopez said. Moments later he was seen fleeing in a 2011 to 2014 model-year white, four-door Honda Civic, Lopez said.
He was described as black, about 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-10 and weighing between 160 to 180 pounds, Lopez said. He wore a black hoodie, white T-shirt, black, basketball-style shorts with a white stripe on both sides and a black bandana covering part of his face.
Anyone with information that might help detectives track down the suspect was asked to call 714-744-7444.