SEATTLE — A robber hits two different businesses in North Seattle, and police fear he will strike again. One of the businesses is a popular pizza place in the Ballard/Fremont area.
According to investigators, Frelard Pizza Company on Leary Avenue was robbed minutes before the restaurant closed on October 19 and then two days later, police say the robber hit again at the Days Inn on Aurora Avenue.
Surveillance video from the Days Inn shows the robber forcing his way into the lobby and demanding money from the clerk, with a witness sitting just a few feet away.
“You’ll see that he’s pointing the rifle, and we’re talking about an exchange here of about 15 seconds,” said Ret. Det. Merle Carner with Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.
Police say the man kicked open the locked door and held up what they believe is a small caliber rifle, possibly a .22. While you can’t hear the audio on the surveillance video, you can sense the fear from the two victims inside.
“If you watch, he’s always leaving one hand in the air, which probably tells me he’s terrified, so even when he reaches the cash out of the till, he has one hand up in the air as if please don’t shoot me,” Carner said of the clerk on the surveillance video.
Carner warns to keep your doors locked at night and never count cash in the open.
Police say in either instance, the crook didn’t get away with much cash. They fear it could mean he’ll come back for more, maybe hitting a different business this time around.
“When they don’t get enough money, they’re probably going to repeat,” said Carner. "These two cases are only two days apart so who knows where he’s going to hit next.”
Police say while the descriptions of the robber are similar, it appears he may have been using different weapons each time.
If you know who this man is, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.