Mesa police are warning the public to be on the lookout for “hooded bandits” who are robbing stores and restaurants in East Mesa.
Police said there have been nine robberies in the last 10 days.
The suspects, wearing hooded sweatshirts, enter the businesses around closing time.
So far, they have robbed two Subways, the New China Restaurant, two Walgreens, Circle K, Taco Bell, Safeway and Dairy Queen.
“Open, open, money,” said an employee at the New China Restaurant in broken English. She noticed the robbers had a fake gun and told them to take a hike, which they did after taking the tip jar with less than $20.
“She noticed the barrel of the gun was small like an air gun so she didn’t give them any money,” said J.A., another employee at the restaurant.
The suspects are described as white or Hispanic males wearing hoodies and sometimes bandanas covering their faces. They are believed to be in their late teens or early 20’s, 5 feet, 5 inches to 5 feet, 11 inches tall and approximately 150 pounds.
One of the suspects is described as having a thin mustache and wearing prescription glasses with gold trims.
In one robbery, one of the suspects was described as having an obvious pigeon toe on his right foot when walking.
Police said a handgun has been used or simulated in several of the robberies.
Several vehicle descriptions have been given to police. The suspects may be driving either a light colored older passenger car, a small dark SUV, or a black 4 door or small car with three possible primer or faded paint spots on the passenger side.
“We want you to be safe if you encounter these guys and be a good witness for us,” said Sgt. Tony Landato.
Anyone with information regarding these crimes are asked to call the Mesa Police Department at (480) 644-2211 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.