HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A McDonald’s in Costa Mesa on Tuesday became the latest Orange County fast food restaurant to be robbed.
There were also armed robberies reported Monday night at a Chipotle Restaurant in Huntington Beach and a Jack in the Box in Santa Ana. They may be connected to a rash of restaurant robberies throughout Orange County, police said Tuesday.
A robbery in progress was reported about 9:40 p.m. Monday at 16241 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach police Sgt. Tom Weizoerick said. The gunman fled before police officers arrived.
The man wearing a white shirt, a baseball cap, and green pants took at least $500 and ran out of the front door going south on Beach Boulevard, Weizoerick said. Officers set up a perimeter, but were unable to locate him.
The armed bandit had a flannel shirt tied around his neck in Santa Ana and at one point leaned on the counter so he could keep an eye on the Jack in the Box employee who went to another cash register to get the money.
Authorities say there are at least 22 holdups the last two weeks being linked to the same suspect in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Santa Ana, Westminster, Garden Grove, Orange and possibly Los Alamitos.
He’s robbed fast food workers at Subway, Del Taco, Chipotle, McDonald’s, Jack in the Box and El Pollo Loco just in the last two weeks.
The crimes are similar detectives say, with the suspect showing his gun and passing notes threatening to kill the employees if they don’t hand over the cash. Sometimes he wears a wig and often has sunglasses on.
Weizoerick said multiple agencies will share information from their respective robbery investigations to determine if they’re connected.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)