Tempe police are asking for the public’s help in identifying three men responsible for a string of robberies at fast-food restaurants, including one at a McDonald’s where the robber twice fired a gun inside the business early Monday.
About 5 a.m., a male entered the McDonald’s at 3255 S. 48th St., and demanded money from the employees. After displaying a handgun, the robber fired two shots inside the restaurant before he fled with an undisclosed amount of cash and drove off in a white 1990s-model van.
No one was injured from gunshots, but police said Monday’s robbery was among seven committed throughout Tempe and southeast Phoenix between Sept. 15 and Monday. The robbers are escalating in their mode of operation as they are threatening restaurant workers and customers with guns, police said.
The robbers are operating as a group, and in at least six recent incidents, (four occurred in Tempe), one or more of them arrived at the business, near opening or closing time.
The robber then uses force to direct the victims to the back of the store while pointing a firearm at them. He demands cash and flees, police said.
The robber of the McDonald’s on Monday was described as a black male about 35 to 40 years old wearing a dark jacket and black and white shorts and black tennis shoes as shown in video surveillance footage.
Another robber also is described as a black male in his late 20s to mid 30s, about 6 feet tall and 260 pounds. He was seen wearing a white baseball cap with red crown and grey bill, with ‘UNLV’ on the front of the cap, dark sweatshirt/hoodie, white basketball shorts with red and black strips down the side, and black shoes.
The third robber is described as a white or Hispanic male in his early 20s with a skinny build, sideburns and was seen wearing a red and black horizontally striped sweatshirt, dark T-shirt, dark shorts with red and white stripes and a red, white and blue hat with the Philippines flag on the back. He also has tattoos on his neck, left shin, right hand and behind both ears.
The six robberies happened on the following dates at the following locations:
• Sept. 15 — 2000 block of West Baseline Road, Tempe
• Oct. 2 — 4000 block of East Ray Road, Phoenix
• Oct. 4 — 800 block of West Baseline Road, Tempe
• Oct. 7 — 800 block of West Broadway Road, Tempe
• Oct. 10 — 2400 block of East Baseline Road, Phoenix
• Oct. 17 — 1400 block of West Baseline Road, Tempe
Anyone with information about the robberies can call Tempe police at (480) 350-8311 or Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377.