Armed man robs Monroe restaurant

by: Maria Guerrero Updated:

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MONROE, Wash. - An armed robber hit a Snohomish County restaurant and while an employee was inside.

Officers with the Monroe Police Department can't remember the last time something like this happened.

It's a brazen robbery that has Monroe residents talking.

"It's just sad that it happened here," said Terri Lauckhart.

Monroe police say two employees at the Buzz Inn Steakhouse arrived at work at about 5 a.m. Saturday, only to find their 69-year-old co-worker tied up and the restaurant robbed.

"That's crazy, especially right here in Monroe. It's a quaint little town up north," said John Hayes.

Police say the 69-year-old employee was cleaning when he was first approached by the suspect.

The robber showed a small handgun, forced the employee into a bathroom, bound his hands and possibly his feet with zip-ties, then grabbed some cash from the safe and left. It’s not known how much cash he got away with.

The victim managed to crawl from the bathroom to the hallway. 

When his co-workers found him he said he'd been lying there for about an hour.

Some customers have seen the victim.

"I know that guy. He seems like a nice man," said John Hayes.

Others just can't believe the lengths one man went to for some easy money.

"An innocent guy who's doing his job, somebody comes in and does that to him for a few bucks. It's just crazy," said Curt Lauckhart.

Monroe PD is still investigating and will rule out whether this was perhaps an inside job. Nothing points to that being the case.

The restaurant declined to comment and wouldn't say if the employee, whose arms got scratched up, is back on the job.

The man described as about 5 feel 6 inches tall, wearing a black and yellow coat and a black ski mask.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the Monroe Police Department at 360-794-6300.