Two masked gunmen forced a pair of Hooters employees into an industrial freezer this morning while they robbed the business, Tacoma police said.
The victims – a janitor and the restaurant manager – broke the lock and called for help about 7:25 a.m. Police estimate the janitor was in the freezer more than an hour.
The janitor finished his shift around 6 a.m. but returned to Hooters, 6812 Tacoma Mall Blvd., because he forgot to finish a task.
He left the door unlocked behind him as he hurried into the restaurant to work on the paper towel rack, police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said.
Two men wearing masks and carrying semi-automatic handguns entered through the unlocked door and forced the janitor into the freezer at gunpoint. They then waited for the manager to arrive.
After taking the manager’s cell phone, wallet and keys, the robbers stole money from Hooters and fled.
The victims were eventually able to throw their weight against the locked door – secured with a pen – and break it open. They were not injured.
Both robbers are described as black men wearing masks. One was about 5 feet 10 and 225 pounds, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, black pants and black shoes.