Police are investigating an early morning armed robbery of a fast-food restaurant near the Berkeley-Albany border, police said. Officers responded to a 5:24 a.m. report of a robbery at 1198 San Pablo Ave., police said, which is the location of a McDonald's restaurant. According to a business listing on Yelp.com, this outpost of the restaurant chain opens at 5 a.m. on weekdays. No suspects were in custody as of 6:15 a.m., police said, and information about possible injuries was not yet available.
According to a
report by television Channel 2, press release from Berkeley police early this afternoon, an armed gunman wearing a black ski mask locked employees into the restaurant's freezer before fleeing.
The police release continued:
"....a male suspect wearing a black ski mask and all dark clothing pointed a gun at a male employee who was preparing for the opening of the restaurant. The suspect hit the employee in the head with the pistol and forced the employee to hand over cash . The suspect then ordered that employee and three (3) other employees to get into the freezer. The suspect apparently left on food leaving a trail of cash in an alley north of the scene as he fled. The employees waited until they believ ed the suspect was gone then emerged to call 911. City of Berkeley Police department (BPD) officers responde d to the restaurant to tend to the employees as well as secure and manage the crime scene . The male employee sustained a laceration to the head that was treated at the scene by City of Berkeley Fire Department Paramedics. The injury was deemed minor. Due to the fact that the suspect was wearing a ski type mask, employee/witnesses were not able to provide a detailed description of the suspect.
Detectives do not believe that this robbery has any connection with any robberies of pedestrians that have happened in the City of Berkeley in recent weeks. Commercial robberies such as this one occur periodically in the City of Berkeley."