Two men wearing dark clothing and concealing their identities with hoodies and ski masks robbed the Paris Wendy’s Restaurant late Monday, Oct. 1.
Paris Police Chief Mike Henness said officers were dispatched by 911 at 9:50 p.m. to the restaurant located at 15305 U.S. Highway 150.
“It was reported two male subjects brandishing black handguns entered Wendy’s and made contact with the assistant manager, who opened the safe,” said Henness.
Henness said only the assistant manager and four or five other employees were in the business at the time. No patrons were present. The assistance manager suffered a chin laceration after one of the robbers struck her with his handgun.
“It is always the best practice to go along the orders of the suspects,” said Henness.
A little more than $1,000 was taken in the robbery. The suspects also made the employees surrender their personal cell phones and work headsets. Those items were left on the ground after the robbers fled the building.
“They put the employees in the walk in freezer, went out the back door and ran north,” Henness said.
He added the freezer is equipped with a safety latch so the employees were not trapped.
“Our canine followed their scent about two blocks and lost the scent,” said Henness. “We think they got into a vehicle at that point.
Investigators are reviewing in-store security video and video cameras from other locations in an effort to identify vehicles in the area at the time.
The suspects made every effort to hide their identities with long sleeves and long pants. In addition to the dark clothing, hoodies and ski masks they also had backpacks.
Henness described both men as about 5 feet 11 inches, medium build and between 160 to 180 pounds.
Detective Travis Vice is in charge of the investigation, and he was on site at the store Tuesday morning waiting for the Illinois Crime Scene Investigation unit to arrive.
Armed robbery is rare in Paris. Henness has been on the police force for 29 years and he estimated less than a half-dozen such robberies have occurred during his career. He stressed armed robbery is a Class X felony in Illinois so the suspects are facing mandatory prison time after being caught and convicted.
“We do have several leads we are working on,” said Henness.
Investigators may post still images of the robbery from the store's security tapes on the Paris Police Department’s Facebook page. That has not happened yet, and might not depending on the direction of the investigation.
Anyone with information about the crime should call the Paris Police Department at 217-465-6351.