There were some very scary moments for customers and employees at a Daphne Waffle House Wednesday morning, June 12, 2019.
An armed robber with a high-powered rifle walked in, fired a shot into the ceiling and demanded money. No one was hurt, but the suspect got away with a customers’ wallet and car keys as well as cash from the register. All of this was caught on camera and police are hoping the public can help identify the robber.
It was 2:45 a.m. when a lone gunman walked into the Waffle House on Highway 90 in Daphne with a high-powered rifle. The surveillance video shows two customers at the bar and two employees behind the counter. As he comes through the door, police said the suspect fired a round into the ceiling. That’s when the customers hit the floor and the employees took cover behind the counter.
“It was a relatively slow night in there. There weren’t but a few people in there. You can obviously see from the video, these guys weren’t expecting that at all,” Daphne Police Sergeant, Jason Vannoy said of the customers. “We think they herd that gunshot and immediately kind of froze up and then were told to get on the floor, which they did.”
The suspect took one of the customers’ wallets from the counter and car keys from the second. Police said the gunman then demanded the register be opened, at which point he helped himself to the cash in the drawer and left. It all happened in less than :50 seconds.
“Then he exits the store and attempts to steal a vehicle,” Vannoy said. “He wasn’t able to get the vehicle cranked. You can also see in that video, the truck that dropped him off, that had driven off, we believe that he reestablished contact and got back in that truck and that’s how they fled the scene.”
The victims of the robbery are shaken, but okay. None wanted to talk on camera. One of the customers reached by phone said it was a terrifying ordeal and he’s still feeling the effects today. The manager at the restaurant said he visited with the two employees after the robbery. He said they’re doing okay, but understandably, one of the ladies is taking Wednesday off.
Right now, police say their best lead is the truck that dropped the suspect off and picked him up.
“The tailgate is a different color and one of the front fenders is a little bit discolored. It does not have a rear bumper,” Vannoy explained. “We believe it is an older model Chevrolet or GMC, full-size truck.”
Police said the suspect first tried to steal the customer’s car but couldn’t start the push-button system. If you recognize the suspect, the pickup or have any information that can help police find these suspects, you’re asked to call the Daphne Police Department.