A KFC employee was robbed at gunpoint Monday when he left the store to take the deposit to the bank, Espa?ola Police Department Public Information Sgt. Jeremy Apodaca said.
The strong-arm robbery was first reported via 911 by Joseph Trujillo at 3:21 p.m.
He told dispatchers, and later told police that he was leaving the store with the bank deposit when two men approached him with guns.
“Initially, he refused (to give them the money),” Apodaca said. “But he gave them the money after he was struck in the side with a gun by one of the suspects.”
Once the pair had the cash, they dashed across Riverside Drive and disappeared.
Department officers Adrian Martinez and Derrick Valdez arrived less than two minutes later and searched the area for anyone on foot matching the suspect descriptions.
Dispatchers told officers the suspects had run toward East Pueblo Street, but it was later determined the suspects may have ran east across Riverside Drive.
“There were some people working in a yard that said they saw someone running,” Martinez said at the scene. “But we weren’t able to locate them.”
Valdez, Martinez and Lt. Abraham Baca searched the area for the suspects to no avail before Valdez and Martinez made their way to KFC.
Valdez interviewed Trujillo at the restaurant, who described the weapons used as a revolver and an automatic pistol.
Apodaca said Tuesday he could not remember the last time there was a strong-arm robbery in the city, especially at a business and that police were currently searching for suspects.
“Derrick (Valdez) is working on identifying the suspects,” Apodaca said. “But both had their faces covered.”
Dispatchers told officers that one suspect was wearing red and another was wearing orange at the time of the robbery, but Apodaca said the description from Trujillo was that both men were wearing black. Dispatchers told officers one of the men was wearing a backpack.
“At this time, we don’t know exactly how much money was stolen,” Apodaca said. “The business said they still needed to calculate exactly how much cash and coin was in the bag.”
He said the crime highlighted the need for business owners to go over their safety practices with employees and to remind them not to openly carry bank deposit bags outside of their business, and not to fall into a predictable routine when taking the deposits to the bank.
He could not say whether or not the suspects were former employees of the business or knew current employees, but would not rule it out either.
“There’s not much I can say about the possible suspects at this time as this is an open and active investigation,” Apodaca said. “If people do have information or think they saw the suspects yesterday, they should call us.”