CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) - A botched armed robbery attempt Sunday evening at IHOP on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga, has turned into a manhunt for two suspects. Monday morning, the restaurant that regularly opens at 7 a.m. is closed.
Two male suspects, one armed with a hand gun and the other with a knife, attempted to rob the restaurant around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. The suspects herded six people, which included all of the employees and customers of the restaurant, into the back office.
The employees and customers were able to keep themselves separated from the suspects by locking themselves in an office, near the restaurant's safe. An outside door into the office, which had been propped open, was also closed effectively, locking the group in the office.
"They [restaurant employees] were asked to open the safe, but they were unable to open the safe because they don't have a combination. At some point when one of the robbers stepped out of the office, an employee pulled the office door shut and locked it, and the robbery suspects were then in the restaurant area while the employees were locked behind the door in the office," said Cheektowaga Police Lieutenant Gerald Jankowski, "They kept themselves in the safest place in the building that they could behind locked doors. The other people had no access to them from and they waited for police to respond and give them instructions on what to do."
Police and SWAT teams surrounded the IHOP restaurant and eventually determined that the suspects had fled and were no longer occupying the building. Authorities were able to make contact with the people in the office, they were all removed out of a back door of the office.
The two armed men were not able to take any money from the restaurant. Police are searching for the two male suspects Monday.
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